Apple's HomePod mini has a secret temperature sensor that's not being used

Apple's HomePod mini has a secret temperature sensor that's not being used
The original HomePod may have been discontinued, but Apple continues to sell the newer and more affordable HomePod mini which, according to a new report, has a hidden feature that nobody knew about.

The HomePod mini's temperature sensor could be activated with an update

Bloomberg has revealed that Apple’s HomePod mini ships with a secret sensor inside that’s capable of measuring room temperature and humidity. The company has never admitted to including the sensor, but internally there have been discussions about activating it.

An iFixit teardown confirmed the sensor’s existence. It’s located in the bottom-edge of the HomePod mini, near the power cable but far from the internals. The manufacturer is Texas Instruments.

People familiar with the situation claim that activating the hidden component would allow Apple’s HomePod mini to work with HomeKit-compatible smart thermostats to better control the temperature of a room, whether that be by turning on a fan or switching the heating on.

There’s no guarantee Apple will enable features that make use of the temperature sensor, but doing so could be the first step in leveling-up the company’s HomeKit software, which hasn’t been as successful as Amazon and Google’s equivalents.

Apple is working on speakers with displays and cameras

Long-term, the HomePod mini is expected to be joined by a range of new devices including a successor to the original HomePod, set for release in 2022, and a new generation of the Apple TV set-top-box.

The Silicon Valley-based giant is working on speakers with cameras and displays too. Those sound a lot like rivals to Google's Nest Hub and other smart displays, but a release in the near future is unlikely.

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