According to Bloomberg, and supported by analysis from iFixit, the HomePod mini includes a secret sensor that is designed to measure the current temperature and humidity of the room in which the HomePod mini is located.
There are various third-party HomeKit products that can measure room temperature, but it would be convenient for HomeKit users if the HomePod mini could do this without the need for an additional accessory.
The temperature sensor is apparently located away from the main internal electronics, next to the plastic power cord on the back of the unit, which gives more credence to the idea that this sensor is meant to measure room temperature. If it were just a safety sensor to detect overheating, it would be placed closer to the other internal components.
Obviously, the HomePod mini does not report temperature values to the HomeKit today, and the sensor is essentially inactive. However, Bloomberg believes that this sensor could be activated through a software update and could support the attraction of the HomePod mini as a smart home gadget. However, it is strange that this was not activated from the beginning, when the HomePod mini was launched last October.
Apple discontinued the larger HomePod earlier this month. The Bloomberg report says Apple does not yet have an internal “unification strategy” around its smart home efforts. The company is supposed to be working on new speakers with screens and cameras, but does not expect anything to be released in the near future.
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