Comcast has recently patented a smart speaker with a highly unusual design. Thanks to Twitter user @SteveDonohue, for pointing it out. Rather than choosing from a spherical shape included in the Amazon Echo and Apple HomePod Mini, or the indented rectangular shape of Google Nest Audio, the sketch resembles a speaker with a rounded top and bottom with a wide base.
Comcast registered a patent for the device last year, but it wasn’t approved until April 2022. As seen in the depiction, the device flaunts a playback controller to the right on the speaker and added controls with the stand on the bottom.
At first glance, I d say this device looks more closely like a router (minus the antennas, I suppose) than a speaker, which is most likely worth knowing for a company that specializes in connectivity. But after one of my coworkers pointed out it looked like a toilet bowl, I could not unsee the similarity.
Unfortunately, Comcast was never able to actually have its new bathroom monitor in use, as General Electric investigated making sensor-based speakers sometime in 2019. Apparently, this was to have functioned by means of screens that entered how often a person got up to use the bathroom and how long they stayed there.
At that time, Comcast highlighted that it was not a smart speaker. It’s unclear if these two devices are related, and Comcast didn’t respond to The Verge’s request for comment.