Could Apple HomePod soon get multi-user voice control?

Apple’s HomePod might be the best-sounding smart speaker we’ve heard, but it isn’t without limitations - among which is the fact it can only support a single user.

Well, multi-user support for HomePod and other Siri-using devices could be on the way. A patent for ‘user profiling for voice input processing’ was today granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, as spotted by Apple Insider.

The patent could mean Apple is looking into its devices being able to identify multiple users by their voice, and thus perform user-specific tasks.

For example, if multiple user profiles were assigned to a HomePod, the owners of those profiles could ask for certain alarms to be set or emails to be read without accessing the other profiles.

It suggests that language, accents and user habits and usage could also be built up over time.

However, the patent doesn’t make it clear that this is Apple’s intention, only the possibility for voice recognition for user identification has been granted.


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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10 years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.