Face ID Security
The addition of cameras and other sensors could allow for gesture-based controls, but they may bring another Apple platform to HomePod: Face ID.
The patent describes a smart speaker with advanced facial recognition, presumably by adding a TrueDepth platform into the suite of cameras.
HomePod could then use Face ID for a variety of applications. It could, for example, determine which user is standing next to it and switch “profiles” based on that. Or it could figure out if a HomePod’s primary owner is nearby. If they are, HomePod would grant access to messages, notes, reminders and other data. If the owner isn’t, it could block access to that sensitive information.