Apple's been working on bringing Siri fully into the living room for years, but there's a huge challenge involved in taking a personal assistant and making it communal.
Mark Gurman and Ian King, writing for Bloomberg:
Besides serving as a controller for other smart-home devices, the speaker would theoretically be able to process many of the Siri commands available on the iPhone. For example, users may be able to ask the device to read e-mails, send text messages and Tweets, and stream content from Apple Music. Apple has also considered integrating mapping information into the speaker, another person said, potentially allowing the device to notify a user when it's time to leave the house for an appointment.
Here's the challenge, and why I think we haven't seen it all ship already: Who and authenticated how?
An iPhone is a personal device. So is an iPad, the way it's currently set up. An Apple Home hub, much like an Apple TV, would be a communal device. That's why Apple TV doesn't have many of these features already. Apple obviously has the technology, but there's a big philosophical question they believe needs answering before rolling it out.
On an iPhone, saying "Hey Siri, read my texts!" results in your texts being read. On an Apple TV or Home hub, saying "Hey Siri, read my texts!" results in whose texts being read... and to whom? Do you get to access to your parents' or children's' data? Your spouses or siblings? Your roommate or host?
Apple TV can already be logged into multiple Apple IDs, but tvOS hasn't made any of them available to Siri or even for messages or mail apps on the device. Because, privacy.
Similar to the path Apple took with Siri apps, where they tried to go deep instead of broad, and ensure domains and intents could handle a robust set of languages and sentence structures, bringing full-on Siri to the Home requires a lot of care and consideration.
That's especially true given Apple's very public, very high-level stance on privacy. Always listening microphones and always watching cameras are amazing for beam forming and target locking, but have profound ramifications for privacy.
As does making Siri truly multi-user.
Voice ID and pass phrases, facial recognition and body analysis, and all sorts of other authentication systems work great in the movies, but in the real-world living room? Apple won't even let Siri on Apple TV unlock your door or open your garage right now because the Siri remote can't authenticate the request the way Touch ID or the heart-rate monitor on iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch can.
More than whether or not Apple will extend Apple TV or AirPort Extreme, or release Apple Speakers or a standalone Apple Home hub, how the company solves for multi-user and privacy is going to be fascinating to watch.
And likely require a whole lot of that Apple "magic".