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Apple's HomePod Mini Smart Speaker Contains a Temperature and Humidity Sensor

(Photo: Apple)

The HomePod mini is Apple’s answer to a smart speaker that can fit anywhere in your home, but a newly discovered sensor suggests Apple has bigger plans for its room-filling audio device.

As Bloomberg reports, a teardown of the HomePod mini has revealed a temperature and humidity sensor buried inside. It’s currently disabled, suggesting Apple included it with a view to using it in future, but simply wasn’t ready to add such functionality when the speaker launched last year.

The sensor was discovered near the HomePod mini’s power cable along the bottom edge of the casing. It’s manufactured by Texas Instruments and called the HDC2010 Humidity and Temperature Digital Sensor. The sensor’s position within the device confirms it’s meant to measure environmental temperature and humidity outside the speaker rather than performing internal functions.

Released back in October, the HomePod mini is marketed as a tiny smart speaker capable of filling a room with 360-degree audio. You can link multiple mini speakers together, interact with them via Siri, and use them as an intercom around the home. So why include a temperature and humidity sensor?

People familiar with the situation told Bloomberg that Apple was (and possibly still is) considering allowing the HomePod mini to adjust smart thermostats based on the conditions within a room. It could also trigger other smart devices to start working, such as a fan when a certain temperature is reached. These features would integrate with HomeKit—Apple’s software for iOS and iPadOS for interacting with smart home devices.

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