Apple HomePod mini includes non-usable humidity and temperature sensor

Apple has equipped its HomePod mini speaker with a sensor that can measure the temperature and humidity of the environment. That’s according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, whose findings have been confirmed by iFixit. The sensor cannot be used at the moment.

Apple has internally discussed using the sensor to determine room humidity and temperature so that internet-connected thermostats can adjust settings based on that data, Gurman writes on Bloomberg.

Thanks to the sensor, the HomePod mini should also be able to automatically switch off or on a fan or humidifier, for example. It would be a sensor called HDC2010 Humidity and Temperature Digital Sensor, which comes from Texas Instruments.

Images of Bloomberg, courtesy of iFixit

The sensor measures 1.5×1.5mm and is tucked into the lower part of the speaker’s plastic housing, near the power cord. This presence of the sensor has been confirmed by iFixit. Because the sensor is relatively far from the internal components of the speaker, 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 whether and if so 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 with each other via an iPad, iPhone or Apple Watch.

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