Apple’s HomePod mini has a hidden sensor that measures temperature and humidity, according to a new report from Bloomberg. There are still no specific details present of the sensor’s functions but presumably, the component could help Apple further its smart-home capabilities in HomePod mini.
Announced at Apple’s October 13 ‘Hi, Speed’ event, HomePod mini is Apple’s small mid-range speaker. Supported with Siri, Apple’s intelligent voice assistant, the new HomePod mini is designed to perform multiple tasks in a secure and private environment. Users can listen to music, send messages, set reminders, control their smart home, and do much more with this small speaker for just $99.
HomePod mini’s hidden temperature and humidity sensor could be switched on with future software update
Apple has not commented on this revelation as of yet by according to “people familiar with the situation”, the company has internally discussed using the sensor to trigger certain actions when a room gets too hot or too cold. The sensor would possibly relay temperature and humidity data to devices like an internet-connected thermostat.
So, in theory, HomePod mini could be used to trigger HomeKit actions like switching on the heating when a room is cold or a fan when a space feels stuffy due to high levels of humidity. Currently, the sensor is dormant but Apple could choose to activate it through a software update.
The sensor, measuring 1.5 by 1.5 millimeters, is present in the base of the speaker, near its power supply cable. The location of the sensor was confirmed in a teardown conducted by iFixit after an inquiry from Bloomberg. According to the report, the sensor is made by Texas Instruments Inc. and is called the HDC2010 Humidity and Temperature Digital Sensor.
The Cupertino tech giant has previously included hardware in a device that it officially activated months later, Bloomberg notes. Apple’s 2008 iPod touch included a Bluetooth chip but it was not activated until the year following its release date.
In related news, Apple recently announced it had discontinued the original HomePod and will be focusing its efforts on its HomePod mini. However, analysts say the company still lacks a ‘unifying strategy’ internally around its smart home efforts.