Apple launched the HomePod Mini smart speaker with a nifty intercom feature back in October last year, and slapped an uncharacteristically affordable $99 asking price tag on it. It came equipped with the in-house S5 chip to enable a feature Apple calls Computational Audio, the ability to sync multiple Home Pod Mini speakers to create a stereo system, and quick pairing courtesy of the U1 ultrawide band chip. But Apple secretly fitted a surprise inside its tiny Siri-driven smart speaker – a temperature and humidity sensor.
First reported by Bloomberg and with images sourced from iFixit, Apple never publicly disclosed that the HomePod Mini came equipped with a temperature and humidity sensor. Moreover, the sensor has so far been not brought to use for measuring the temperature and humidity values in the surroundings where it is kept. However, it is likely that Apple will enable this feature in the foreseeable future via a software update.
Regarding potential use case scenarios, the sensor inside HomePod Mini could also be used to interact with connected devices such as a thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature settings. Additionally, it could also be used to control appliances such as a connected fan, based on the humidity levels and temperature inside a room. So far, Apple has not detailed any practical applications, but the Apple Store does sell a wide range of HomeKit certified devices such as smart bulbs, motion sensors, light switches, and air quality monitors to name a few.
However, the official HomeKit accessories support page does mention support for smart home devices such as a fan, air conditioner, humidifier, and thermostats. Interestingly, Apple does not offer any of the aforementioned class of devices under its own brand, so it remains to be seen when the company finally puts the temperature and humidity sensor inside the HomePod Mini to use.