This is according to a recently-discovered patent filed by Apple in which based on the patent’s description, “Electronic devices such as audio devices may include fabric. As an example, the housing of a speaker may be covered with a layer of fabric. Openings may be provided in the fabric to allow sound to be emitted from within the device.”
How this will work, at least according to the patent, is that Apple plans on either weaving conductive strands into the layers of the fabric, or by creating a touch substrate (similar to touch displays) underneath the fabric itself, although the latter sounds like it would be quite an expensive undertaking if they plan to have the entire speaker itself become touch-sensitive.
This isn’t the first time that we’re seeing or hearing about fabrics becoming “smarter”. Google has been working with Levi’s on Project Jacquard in an attempt at creating smart clothing. However, whether or not such a HomePod will ever come to pass remains to be seen.