As we hear rumblings of a HomePod 3 with a larger screen, I can’t help but ask about the fate of the HomePod Mini. It was adorable, powerful, and perfectly priced. If anything the HomePod Mini is what really grew the HomePod brand, so seeing it being forgotten feels sad… which is why this concept warms my heart. Meet the HomePod Nano, a fan-made concept that not only revives the small speaker brand but also resuscitates the old Jobs + Jony Ive style of design that Apple was known for in the 2000s.
Designer: Justin Latham
A big deviation from the current HomePod’s design format, the HomePod Nano is a hat-tip to old-school Apple. Steve would probably never approve of a 360° speaker. Speakers need to be plugged, and the only place to plug them is into a wall outlet. Having a speaker in the center of a room would mean worrying about an ugly wire running from the socket to the center table – something that would make Jobs livid. Instead, the HomePod Nano is a radio-inspired speaker that sits on a mantelpiece, shelf, or console unit, with its back facing the wall. The front features a 3-driver array that delivers stellar audio thanks to the two tweeters, single subwoofer, and the two passive radiators underneath for that rich, creamy layer of bass.
Inspired by Braun’s T3 Pocket Radio, the HomePod Nano comes with a front-facing speaker and a display that’s a lot more functional than the one on the current HomePod. Running a fork of Apple’s WatchOS, the display showcases the time in the signature Apple Watch format, while doing a few other key things like giving you access to Siri, apps, and other info like weather reports, smart-home controls, and notifications. In yet another Watch-inspired move, there’s no camera on this device, eliminating any possibility of using the HomePod Nano as a FaceTime device, the way Amazon and Google did with their smart speakers. Instead, the HomePod Nano focuses on delivering Apple’s services and music-streaming chops to your home. The HomePod Nano’s upper surface allegedly works as a wireless charger too, giving it more features than those that exist in Apple’s current smart speaker. NGL, but Steve Jobs would probably like this more.