Apple is releasing a sound recognition feature for its second-generation HomePod and the HomePod Mini on Tuesday. This allows the smart speakers to recognize the sound of a smoke or carbon monoxide detector and send a notification to users when it goes off.
Apple announced the feature in January when it introduced its second-generation HomePod. However, the tech giant officially made the feature available on Tuesday, reports TechCrunch. This makes the feature available in the Home app for users with a HomePod Mini or second-generation HomePod. Users must have set up the new HomeKit architecture from iOS 16.4 to use the feature.
When the feature is enabled, a notification is automatically sent to an iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch when a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm goes off. That notification must then be visible on the lock screen of an iPhone and in the Home App, for example. The feature works on the basis of sound and therefore does not require a smart smoke detector to send the notification. The HomePods themselves cannot recognize smoke or carbon monoxide.
If users have a security camera linked to HomeKit, a video feed will also be displayed on the user’s device. Apple says the feature uses end-to-end encryption and the sound recognition is done locally on the speaker.
Amazon previously introduced a similar feature for its Echo speakers, in the form of Alexa Guard. This feature can, among other things, recognize the sound of breaking glass, in addition to that of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Google Nest speakers can also listen to such alarms, although users must purchase a Nest Aware subscription to do so. writes The Verge.
The second-generation HomePod, which Apple released in January. Source: Apple