This article was published on April 13, 2021

The next Apple TV could be a soundbar with a built-in camera

It might be able to play some tunes and get you on Zoom

The next Apple TV could be a soundbar with a built-in camera

A few weeks ago we reported that Apple’s next HomePod might come with a screen and a camera. Well, it seems the HomePod is not the only gadget mashup the company is experimenting with. According to a report by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, a future Apple TV could essentially take the form of a soundbar with a built-in camera.

Okay, so Bloomberg technically doesn’t specify that said Apple TV would be shaped like a soundbar, but I mean, what else would it really be? It’s an Apple TV with a speaker, so it’s probably going to sit below or your television — especially as the camera would be used for conference calls.

I guess it could be a soundbase, like the Sonos Playbase, or some other kind of compact speaker to sit below or above your TV, but it’s just semantics at that point.

As you would expect, the Apple TV would be able to double as a Siri hub thanks to the built-in speaker, and you could use it for all the typical things you do with the TV box, such as watching videos and playing games. The camera would be used to make video calls, like Facebook’s Portal.

This wouldn’t be the first attempt at combining a speaker with smart TV software. The JBL Link stuffed Android TV into a soundbar, and Amazon’s Fire TV Cube comes with a small speaker too. But this would be the biggest attempt at combining the two product categories we’ve seen yet, especially with the addition of a camera.

The report also builds on the prior rumor of a HomePod with a built-in screen and camera, suggesting Apple is basically thinking of gluing an iPad to a HomePod. “Apple has explored connecting the iPad to the speaker with a robotic arm that can move to follow a user around a room,” says Bloomberg.

Don’t get your hopes too high though. The report clarifies that the products’ development is still in early stages, and they might never see the light of day.

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