The next generation of Apple HomePods may support Face ID

It's a bit of a no-brainer that we'll eventually see Apple's Face ID on more future iPhones and iPads, but what about other devices like the upcoming HomePod smart speaker? According to Japanese news organization Nikkei, we could be using our faces to unlock personalized settings on the device as soon as 2019.

Nor is this some sketchy rumor. The source is David Ho, the president of Inventec Appliances, which is the company that's actually responsible for making both HomePods and Apple's AirPod earbuds.

Granted, it's a bit of a "could-be" thing, as Ho's exact words are that trends suggest that "engineers are designing smart speakers that will not only come with voice recognition but also incorporate features such as facial and image recognition."

Analysts, though, interpret this to mean that Ho is referring to the next generation of HomePods after the model we're supposed to see hit shelves in a few weeks. Specifically, analyst Jeff Pu of Yuanta Investment Consulting thinks we'll see Apple's nifty 3D-imaging sensors on the speakers the year after next.

Next verse, same as the first

Yet these speculations aren't entirely new. As 9to5Mac points out, rumors that the HomePod could use facial recognition technology were swirling about as early as the middle of last year, but Face ID was nowhere to be found when we saw the actual device. There's a chance, of course, that Apple was merely waiting to see what the response to the tech would be with the iPhone X before applying it to other products.

As for that first-generation of HomePods? The year is almost up, and we still don't have a clear date from Apple as to when we'll see it. At WWDC, though, Apple claimed it should start shipping at some point in December.

Clock's ticking.