There has been lots of speculation about what future iterations of the HomePod might entail? A newly granted Apple patent (number 11,346,542) hints at a HomePod or HomePod mini with a built-in display that offers visual feedback.
About the patent
In the patent, Apple says that electronic devices such as voice-controlled assistant devices — which would include HomePods and HomePod minis — may include light-emitting components. During operation, the light-emitting component may emit patterns of light that serve as visual feedback. The feedback helps confirm to a user that an electronic device is operating as desired.
However, Apple says it can be challenging to incorporate light-emitting components into an electronic device. If care is not taken, the patterns of light that are emitted will not appear as intended, the appearance of the device may not be as desired, or the device may be overly bulky.
Apple want to overcome such problems with future versions of its HomePod line.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “An electronic device includes a housing, a speaker, control circuitry, a plurality of light-emitting components configured to emit light through an upper housing wall or other housing structure. A lens diffuser layer having lenses overlapping respective light-emitting components, a textured diffuser layer formed from textured coatings on a substrate, and a volume diffuser layer having light-scattering structures in a polymer layer might be included to project light from the light-emitting components. A light-guiding portion of the lens diffuser layer may guide light to a circular peripheral edge to form an illuminated ring visible through the upper housing wall.”