Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that the HomePod mini contains a dormant temperature/humidity sensor:
The sensor, measuring 1.5 by 1.5 millimeters, is buried in the bottom edge of the HomePod mini’s plastic, fabric-wrapped case near its power cable. The component’s location was confirmed by iFixit, which took apart one of the speakers after an inquiry from Bloomberg News. The sensor is made by Texas Instruments Inc. and is called the HDC2010 Humidity and Temperature Digital Sensor, according to TechInsights, a firm that analyses components inside of electronics.
As Gurman points out, this isn’t the first time that Apple’s slipped in a piece of tech only to activate it later. But it does provide another potential mark in favor of the HomePod mini’s survival in the wake of the larger HomePod’s demise.
My big question is what held the company back from enabling this chip. Presumably something on the software side wasn’t ready yet—though that’s a bit of a surprise since the Automations feature of Shortcuts seems like an ideal place to let users trigger actions based on certain environmental threshold.
Perhaps there’s another shoe to drop down the road with Apple (and the rest of the industry’s) still-very-quiet smart home alliance?