HomePod may support multiple users, HomeKit scenes that mute “Hey Siri” temporarily

HomePod, Apple’s upcoming $349 wireless speaker powered by Siri, may support multiple user accounts and allow users to create custom HomeKit scenes that temporarily disable the hands-free “Hey Siri” feature in certain situations.

Yesterday, Brazilian writer Filipe Espósito unearthed (via 9to5Mac) a few previously unknown tidbits about the smart speaker from the latest build of iOS 11.2.5. He says new icons discovered in the latest iOS 11.2.5 developer build suggest users can disable the always-listening microphones on the speaker.

The Home app’s assets reveal that HomePod customers will also be able to create custom HomeKit scenes which disable the “Hey Siri” function temporarily.

Filipe went on to speculate that this feature could potentially be great for home parties where the HomePod owner might want to disable Siri responses for privacy reasons while still being able to control other smart home devices like lights and motion sensors.

HomePod may also be capable of recognizing multiple unique voices and provide custom responses tailored to those individuals. Apple has not yet mentioned if HomePod can support more than one user or that its microphones can be disabled temporarily.

Originally previewed at Worldwide Developers Conference in June 2017, HomePod was originally advertised with a December launch date. In November, however, Apple delayed the smart speaker saying it needed a little more time to get it right.

The launch of HomePod now appears imminent as it recently received an FCC approval.

We also learned that Apple’s manufacturing partner Inventec is now shipping a small batch of one million HomePod units. The latest beta of iOS 11.2.5 also includes HomePod terms of service and regulatory stuff, yet another indication that we’re close from the official launch.