Comcast got a patent for this smart speaker design, but will it ever come out?

Comcast has received a patent for a smart speaker – one with a very unusual design, to say the least (thanks to @SteveDonohue on Twitter to point this out). Rather than opting for a spherical shape that comes with the Amazon Echo and Apple HomePod Mini, or even the rounded rectangular look of the Google Nest Audio device, a sketch shows what looks like a speaker with a slanted top and a wide base. .

Online data shows that Comcast first filed for a patent last year, but was not approved until April 2022. As can be seen in the sketch, the device appears to have playback controls on the side of the speaker, with an additional button and a small kickstand on the bottom.

The design of the smart speaker resembles a bedpan (sorry, not sorry).
Image: Comcast via USPTO

At first glance, I’d say this device looks more like a router (without the antennas) than a smart speaker, which I think makes sense for a company that specializes in connectivity. But after one of my colleagues said it looked like a bedpan, I couldn’t help but notice the resemblance.

The funny thing is that Comcast was reportedly looking to create some sort of health-focused speaker that would track your bathroom habits in 2019. While it never got into the hands (or bathrooms) of consumers, it would come with sensors that tracked how often a person is. got up to use the bathroom and how long they stayed in there. At the time, Comcast made sure to emphasize that it was: no smart speaker† It’s not entirely clear whether these two devices are related, and Comcast did not immediately respond The edge‘s request for comment.

I’m going to do my best to save my judgment for now – it’s still hard to say what the smart speaker will look like based on this sketch alone. However, if the device is ever released, I’d love to see how the design translates into a tangible speaker.

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