HomePod Mini Features Dormant Temperature and Humidity Sensor That Could Be Activated in a Future Software Update

Apple's HomePod mini includes a dormant hidden sensor that can measure temperature and humidity, potentially providing the means to power upcoming features that could arrive in a future software update, according to Bloomberg.

homepod mini heat sensor ifixit

Humidity and temperature sensor from a ‌HomePod mini‌. Source: iFixit (via Bloomberg).

From Mark Gurman's report:

The company has internally discussed using the sensor to determine a room's temperature and humidity so internet-connected thermostats can adjust different parts of a home based on current conditions, according to people familiar with the situation. The hardware could also let the HomePod mini automatically trigger other actions, say turning a fan on or off, depending on the temperature.

[...]

Apple typically releases major HomePod software updates annually in the fall. It's unclear if or when Apple will switch on the temperature sensor, but its presence in HomePod mini units that have already sold suggests that this is just a matter of time. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

The component measures 1.5 x 1.5mm and is buried in the bottom edge of the ‌HomePod mini‌'s plastic case, near the power cable. The sensor's existence was independently confirmed by iFixit after an inquiry by Bloomberg.

The sensor is made by Texas Instruments, which calls it a "HDC2010 Humidity and Temperature Digital Sensor," according to TechInsights, a firm that analyses components inside of electronics. According to the report, the component's placement suggests that its focus will lie in the external environment, rather than having any internal diagnostic role.

The part is situated relatively far from the device's main internal components, meaning it is designed to measure the external environment rather than the temperature of the speaker's other electronics.

This isn't the first time Apple has included a non-active component in a product and then enabled it at a later date via software. As Bloomberg notes, the 2008 iPod touch had a Bluetooth chip, but support for Bluetooth connectivity was enabled the following year via software.

If Apple decides to enable the sensor in the ‌HomePod mini‌, it could pave the way for a more integrated smart home strategy for HomeKit, which controls thermostats, lights, locks, plugs and other devices in the home.

As the report notes, it could also help Apple's ‌HomeKit‌ rival similar features already offered by competitors. For example. Amazon's latest Echo speakers include temperature sensors, while Google sells sensors under its Nest brand that can be placed around homes and connect to its thermostats to adjust the temperature of each room.

Related Roundup: HomePod mini
Buyer's Guide: HomePod Mini (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

Squuiid Avatar
17 months ago
While they did point out that it is external in the article I still suspect this is more likely to be used for warranty exclusions due to use in overly humid environments like bathrooms. A bit like an iPhone water sensor.
But that’s just my cynical take.?
I hope to be proven wrong.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
idmean Avatar
17 months ago

Seems like the ideal device to get crowd sourced weather data from for the Apple Weather apps :)
How would you use room climate data for weather apps?!
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
idmean Avatar
17 months ago

Device is not always listening, only when you say ‘Hey Siri’...
How does this relate to the temperature and humidity sensor?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Alfredo_Delgado Avatar
17 months ago

How would you use room climate data for weather apps?!
Find My Friends' Climate
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rychiar Avatar
17 months ago

Device is not always listening, only when you say ‘Hey Siri’...
And it hears that how...
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JustinCymbal Avatar
17 months ago
That’s awesome! I have two HomePod minis that I use as the sound system hooked up to my Apple TV

At $99 the HomePod mini is a pretty impressive speaker- much better than Amazon’s Echo or Google Home
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

homepod mini thumb feature

HomePod Mini Likely Nearing Launch in Five More Countries

Saturday January 8, 2022 11:21 am PST by
Apple has been testing Swedish language support for Siri on the HomePod mini for at least two months, according to Macradion, suggesting that the HomePod mini will be released in Sweden at some point this year. In addition to Sweden, the HomePod mini will likely launch in at least four more countries in 2022, including the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, and Russia, as the speaker gained...
homepod mini thumb feature

HomePod mini Launches in Austria and Ireland, Coming to New Zealand Later This Month

Tuesday June 15, 2021 2:23 am PDT by
Apple last month announced that the HomePod mini would be made available in several new countries in June. Now, less than a month later, the HomePod mini has officially launched in Austria and Ireland, and is listed as "available in June" in New Zealand, suggesting availability in the next couple of weeks. The HomePod mini is the follow-up to the original HomePod released in 2018. The...
HomePodandMini feature orange

Apple Releases New HomePod 15 Software With Siri Playback Support, HomePod Mini Stereo Pairs, and More

Monday September 20, 2021 10:02 am PDT by
Alongside iOS 15, iPadOS 15, tvOS 15, and watchOS 8, Apple today released new software that's designed for the HomePod and the HomePod mini. The HomePod 15 software update introduces several new features that are designed to work in tandem with tvOS and iOS. - Select a single or pair of HomePod mini as the default speakers for your Apple TV 4K for rich room-filling sound and clear dialogue. ...
honor earbuds3pro

Honor Unveils AirPods-Like 'Earbuds 3 Pro' With Built-in Temperature Monitoring

Tuesday March 1, 2022 1:02 am PST by
Honor has announced Earbuds 3 Pro that come with integrated temperature monitoring technology, a feature that has also reportedly been tested by Apple in AirPods prototypes. Market interest in building temperature measuring functions into earbuds has been mooted for some time now, as it could be useful for fertility tracking, keeping track of sleep, and in the future, it could also detect...
homepod mini thumb feature

HomePod Mini Helps Apple Nearly Double Its Market Share of Smart Speakers and Screens

Monday December 20, 2021 9:00 am PST by
Amazon continues to lead the market for smart speakers and smart screens with devices like the Echo Dot and Echo Show, but Apple has nearly doubled its market share in this segment thanks to the HomePod mini, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. Strategy Analytics estimates that Apple shipped 4 million smart speakers in the third quarter of 2021, taking a 10.2% share of the...
homepod mini thumb feature

HomePod Mini Now Rumored to Launch in Seven Countries, Including Denmark and Norway

Tuesday January 11, 2022 8:29 am PST by
Over the weekend, it was reported that Apple has been testing Swedish language support for Siri on the HomePod mini for at least two months, and now further reports claim that testing is also underway for Danish and Norwegian. Based on these reports, it's likely that Apple is planning to launch the HomePod mini in several Nordic countries this year, including Sweden, Denmark, and Norway....
homepod mini colors

New HomePod Mini Colors Launching in 'Late November' in Europe

Wednesday October 27, 2021 3:21 pm PDT by
At its "Unleashed" event last week, Apple announced that the HomePod mini will be available in three new colors starting in November, including yellow, orange, and blue. The new colors will be sold alongside the existing space gray and white options. Apple has yet to provide a specific release date for the new colors, but in Europe and India, the timeframe is slightly narrowed down....
homepod mini hand

Deals: Get $25 Off HomePod Mini Today at Walmart [Update: Out of Stock]

Thursday October 14, 2021 7:00 am PDT by
Walmart today has a rare deal on Apple's HomePod mini, priced at $74.17, down from $99.00. This sale is only available in the White color. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. The HomePod mini is shipped and sold directly by Walmart, and it's in...

Popular Stories

airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 No Longer Expected to Feature Built-In Heart Rate or Body Temperature Sensor

Sunday July 3, 2022 8:07 pm PDT by
While past rumors have indicated the upcoming second-generation AirPods Pro will feature a built-in heart rate and body temperature sensor, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has cast doubt on those rumors turning out to be true, saying instead such a feature is unlikely to come anytime soon. "Over the past few months, there have been rumors about this year's model gaining the ability to determine a...
Apple Watch 8 Unreleased Feature Thumb

Apple Watch Series 8 Model Rumored to Feature 5% Larger Display

Monday July 4, 2022 5:50 am PDT by
Apple is working on an Apple Watch Series 8 model with a larger display, according to DSCC's Ross Young and Haitong International Securities's Jeff Pu. In October last year, Young suggested that the Apple Watch Series 8 could come in three display sizes. Now, responding to a query about the rumor on Twitter, Young claims that the additional display size joining the Apple Watch lineup will be ...
intel go pc justin long

Windows Laptop Makers 'Worried' About New MacBook Air Impacting Sales

Tuesday July 5, 2022 6:57 am PDT by
The upcoming launch of Apple's redesigned MacBook Air with the M2 chip has some Windows laptop manufacturers "worried" that sales of Intel-based laptops will be negatively affected, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. "A Wintel brand vendor pointed out that at a price point of US$1,000-$1,500, the MacBook Air will crowd out other high-end notebooks," the report claims, with...
European Commisssion

EU Approves Landmark Legislation to Regulate Apple and Other Big Tech Firms

Tuesday July 5, 2022 5:53 am PDT by
European Union lawmakers have approved landmark legislation to heavily regulate Apple, Google, Meta, and other big tech firms. The Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Digital Services Act (DSA) were proposed by the European Commission in December 2020. Now, collected in a "Digital Services Package," the legislation has been formally adopted by the European Parliament and seeks to address...
macbook air m2 order date feature

Apple Announces MacBook Air With M2 Chip Available to Order Starting July 8, Launches July 15

Wednesday July 6, 2022 4:59 am PDT by
Apple today announced that the new MacBook Air equipped with the M2 chip will be available to order starting Friday, July 8 at 5 a.m. Pacific Time. Apple said deliveries to customers and in-store availability will begin Friday, July 15. MacRumors exclusively reported that Apple planned to launch the new MacBook Air on July 15, and the date has now been confirmed by Apple. Customers will be...
top stories 2jul2022

Top Stories: M2 MacBook Air Release Date, New HomePod Rumor, and More

Saturday July 2, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
The M2 MacBook Pro has started making its way into customers' hands and we're learning more about how it performs in a variety of situations, but all eyes are really on the upcoming M2 MacBook Air which has seen a complete redesign and should be arriving in a couple of weeks. Other top stories this week included a host of product rumors including additional M2 and even M3 Macs, an updated...
Lockdown Mode Feature

Apple Announces New Lockdown Mode on iOS 16 With 'Extreme' Level of Security

Wednesday July 6, 2022 10:00 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new Lockdown Mode coming to the iPhone, iPad, and Mac with iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura. Apple says the optional security feature is designed to protect the "very small number" of users who may be at risk of "highly targeted cyberattacks" from private companies developing state-sponsored spyware, such as journalists, activists, and government employees. Apple...
siri remote 3

Apple Releases Firmware Update for Apple TV Siri Remote

Tuesday July 5, 2022 12:10 pm PDT by
Apple today released new firmware for the Siri Remote designed for the Apple TV, updating the software from version 9M6772 to 10M1103. The software is for the redesigned Siri Remote that was released in May 2021, aka the gray remote with the updated interface. In the Apple TV settings, the new firmware will display as 0x0070, up from 0x0061. There is no word on what's new with the Apple TV...