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Apple submitted a new patent which will enable users to use a wider range of gestures in order to control their HomePod. The HomePod — especially the latest one — is already quite smart in terms of awareness, but Apple seems to want to take things to another level with future renditions.

The HomePod is currently capable of adjusting itself to match the soundscape of the room you’ve left it in. It’s always listening for voice control, and is capable of quickly connecting to other smart tech around your home. Thus far, pretty impressive, albeit if variants of these features are already on offer from other manufacturers, like Samsung or Google.

However, according to this new patent submission, which AppleInsider noted on, the next step is to enable the HomePod to detect gestures. The patent is titled “Multi Media Computing Or Entertainment System For Responding To User Presence And Activity” — rolls of the tongue, yep — and it basically boils down to monitoring users around the HomePod.

Some of the example gestures given in the patent include detection of waving, other hand gestures or entering and exiting rooms. Let’s take the last in the list and use it for a simple example: if you set it up so, the HomePod will be able to stop playing music as soon as it detects that everyone has left the room. Neat!

How will gestures on the HomePod work?

Gesture detection would require a future HomePod that is equipped with a depth image sensor, or an optical one — like a camera. This would be the gizmo that allows the HomePod to scan its surroundings, recognise scene geometry and then monitor for any changes, like someone entering the room. Any detected changes would then be associated with a given pre-set intent, which would in turn trigger some sort of automation. This, however, also means that this future HomePod will not only listen to you 24/7, but also keep an eye on you too. Make of that what you will.

Another cool tidbit was also discovered in the patent. Basically, it would enable the HomePod to learn user patterns, as it is already capable of distinguishing up to 7 user profiles. For example, if one of those is an elderly person, who has trouble hearing properly, the HomePod might detect that and adjust its audio accordingly, in order to provide a better experience for that user.

Overall, the patent is more involved with how this detection would theoretically work, and not with how the gathered information would be processed. While the patent itself has been granted, we can’t say for sure that it means anything. Tech giants like Apple submit hundreds of patents yearly, and few of them actually come to fruition. Regardless, pointing at your HomePod to get a party started will definitely be fun.

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