Apple has equipped its HomePod mini speaker with a sensor that can measure the temperature and humidity of the environment. So says Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, whose findings have been confirmed by iFixit. The sensor cannot be used yet.
Apple has discussed internally about using the sensor to determine the humidity and temperature in the room so that internet-connected thermostats can adjust settings based on that data, Gurman writes to Bloomberg .
Thanks to the sensor, the HomePod mini should also be able to automatically switch off or on a fan or air humidification system, for example. It would be a sensor called HDC2010 Humidity and Temperature Digital Sensor, which comes from Texas Instruments.
The sensor measures 1.5×1.5mm and is tucked away in the lower part of the speaker’s plastic housing, near the power cable. This presence of the sensor has been confirmed by iFixit. Since the sensor is relatively far from the speaker’s internal components, the chip should be able to measure these two external factors without being disturbed by the temperature of the internal electronics.
It is currently unknown if and when Apple will actually make the sensor usable for users via a software update. There are at least a few dozen thermostats that support HomeKit, which is the Apple system for connecting smart home devices via an iPad, iPhone or Apple Watch.