The Apple HomePod Mini has a hidden sensor for measuring temperature and humidity. But it is not activated, which means that your smart speaker can not use it – yet.
The website Bloomberg was the first to rewrite the sensor and iFixIt confirmed exactly where it is in the speaker. Which is a bit away from the other components, probably to give as accurate a measurement result as possible.
The sensor in question is called HDC2010 and measures 1.5 x 1.5 millimeters. It is manufactured by Texas Instruments and has a reliability of ± 2% and ± 0.2% for humidity and temperature respectively.
Texas Instruments lists a variety of applications for the HDC2010. Among other things, thermostats, refrigerators, smoke detectors and inkjet printers. The approximate price for a sensor is SEK 22 according to the website Digi-Key.se.
The manufacturer also says that the HDC2010 can be used in smart home assistants.
This is where the sensor will probably be relevant in the HomePod Mini, because Apple is rumored to make a HomePod-like gadget that can act as a central point for all your HomeKit gadgets. In a smoother way than Apple TV ever can.
As an example, you can connect your smart, HomeKit-compatible thermostat to the new hub. Then the HomePod Mini speaker can sense the temperature in the room and automatically control the thermostat to the desired heat.
On at least one previous occasion, Apple has included technology that has not been enabled in a gadget from the start. With the 2008 model of iPod Touch, there was a Bluetooth circuit that Apple activated via an update of the software a full year after the initial launch.
It is not entirely impossible for the company to plan a similar initiative with the HomePod Mini when the sensor is ready for use.