26 March 2021
Apple’s HomePod mini isn’t just a mini speaker as we all had deemed it to be, it is, in fact, much more than that. In a rare hunt, it is discovered that Apple has fitted a temperature and humidity sensor in the HomePod Mini as well. Bloomberg first brought this to everyone’s notice and later iFixit, a team that specializes in teardown and assessing the devices’ repairability score confirmed the presence as well.
The iFixit team was able to tell the exact location of the sensor which has been thoughtfully kept away from the speaker’s internal components so that it can measure the external temperature. To be precise, the component is buried in the bottom edge of the HomePod mini’s plastic case, near the power cable.
The true working of the sensor is unknown but Bloomberg reports that the sensor would provide information to other smart home devices like thermostats or fans. For instance, depending on the temperature, the speaker can trigger a device like a fan to turn itself on or off. It is expected that this functionality could work via HomeKit, Apple’s smart home ecosystem, which already integrates many internet-connected thermostats.
It is currently also unknown if the company has any plans to enable the sensor in the near future so to make its mini variant of the smart speaker more valuable. Nevertheless, it is a great find and we might get to learn about the same in the near future, especially when Apple is bound to move its focus entirely on the HomePod mini after the discontinuation of HomePod.
As the report points out, Apple typically releases major HomePod software updates annually in the fall. So, it is possible that an update coming in the fall could enable this update.