HomePod mini has hidden, unused temperature sensor

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 26
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 818member

    zroger73 said:
    dewme said:
    The most likely answer is that it is to correct for how the audio is heard. Since temperature and humidity affect how sound is heard it makes great sense to put something like this in. 
    That doesn't really make sense.  People have been making sound reproduction devices for more than a century and none (that I know of) employ temp and humidity sensors to affect the sound.  Your claim sounds a bit dubious, if I'm honest.  Perhaps you have more info to support it.  The most obvious reason it doesn't make sense?  The sensor is inactive so it couldn't be contributing to how sound is heard.  

    This is most likely for a future Homekit elements like smart thermostat, humidifier, space heater, air conditioner, etc.
    I agree with the latter post and speculation that this sensor pair is most likely targeting a smart home related function, like feedback for a smart thermostat and HVAC. The first post is entirely correct that sound propagation is absolutely affected by temperature, humidity, and also atmospheric pressure. If you live fairly close to a highway or railroad tracks that you only notice at night when the temperature drops you know all about temperature related sound diffraction. However, I would not expect that temperature or humidity related diffraction would be significant enough to notice within the small listening area and volume that a HomePod Mini is designed to support. But who knows, without doing the math.

    It's also possible that these sensors are used to prevent the device from being operated outside of the temperature and humidity specifications. But since it's not hooked up, whatever it may be used for is a mystery.
    ...and, a HomePod mini is almost always operated indoors in a climate-controlled space with a relatively constant temperature in a relatively narrow range.
    Nope - I have one on my outdoor deck, under roof.  We also have a wall mounted TV & sound bar.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 22 of 26
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 818member

    dewme said:
    dewme said:
    The most likely answer is that it is to correct for how the audio is heard. Since temperature and humidity affect how sound is heard it makes great sense to put something like this in. 
    That doesn't really make sense.  People have been making sound reproduction devices for more than a century and none (that I know of) employ temp and humidity sensors to affect the sound.  Your claim sounds a bit dubious, if I'm honest.  Perhaps you have more info to support it.  The most obvious reason it doesn't make sense?  The sensor is inactive so it couldn't be contributing to how sound is heard.  

    This is most likely for a future Homekit elements like smart thermostat, humidifier, space heater, air conditioner, etc.
    I agree with the latter post and speculation that this sensor pair is most likely targeting a smart home related function, like feedback for a smart thermostat and HVAC. The first post is entirely correct that sound propagation is absolutely affected by temperature, humidity, and also atmospheric pressure. If you live fairly close to a highway or railroad tracks that you only notice at night when the temperature drops you know all about temperature related sound diffraction. However, I would not expect that temperature or humidity related diffraction would be significant enough to notice within the small listening area and volume that a HomePod Mini is designed to support. But who knows, without doing the math.

    It's also possible that these sensors are used to prevent the device from being operated outside of the temperature and humidity specifications. But since it's not hooked up, whatever it may be used for is a mystery.
    You may have misread my comment or I worded it badly, causing misinterpretation.  Either way,  I wasn't questioning whether or not temperature and humidity affect sound.  I was questioning his claim; which was: "The most likely answer is that it is to correct for how the audio is heard." ← That's what I said was dubious.  The science in general is fine.  The claimed application of said science (audio manipulation) is not imo.  As I said, I know of no one employing temperature and humidity to affect sound in audio devices... especially not $99 commodity priced audio devices.  It doesn't make sense.
    I agreed with you, but was also saying the other source of speculation wasn't totally off-base. I think everyone agrees that with these sensors being in a non functional state, it doesn't really matter, other than it being a curiosity for us all to speculate about. It's basically an archeological discovery unless Apple has provided a way to activate the circuitry after the fact.
    Again - it is physically connected (hooked up).  And people have no way of knowing if it is being used yet or not.  It's all speculation at this point.  Just because they don't "see" it working, or have any indication it is being used, doesn't mean it isn't being used.
    randominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 23 of 26
    zroger73zroger73 Posts: 783member
    nicholfd said:

    zroger73 said:
    dewme said:
    The most likely answer is that it is to correct for how the audio is heard. Since temperature and humidity affect how sound is heard it makes great sense to put something like this in. 
    That doesn't really make sense.  People have been making sound reproduction devices for more than a century and none (that I know of) employ temp and humidity sensors to affect the sound.  Your claim sounds a bit dubious, if I'm honest.  Perhaps you have more info to support it.  The most obvious reason it doesn't make sense?  The sensor is inactive so it couldn't be contributing to how sound is heard.  

    This is most likely for a future Homekit elements like smart thermostat, humidifier, space heater, air conditioner, etc.
    I agree with the latter post and speculation that this sensor pair is most likely targeting a smart home related function, like feedback for a smart thermostat and HVAC. The first post is entirely correct that sound propagation is absolutely affected by temperature, humidity, and also atmospheric pressure. If you live fairly close to a highway or railroad tracks that you only notice at night when the temperature drops you know all about temperature related sound diffraction. However, I would not expect that temperature or humidity related diffraction would be significant enough to notice within the small listening area and volume that a HomePod Mini is designed to support. But who knows, without doing the math.

    It's also possible that these sensors are used to prevent the device from being operated outside of the temperature and humidity specifications. But since it's not hooked up, whatever it may be used for is a mystery.
    ...and, a HomePod mini is almost always operated indoors in a climate-controlled space with a relatively constant temperature in a relatively narrow range.
    Nope - I have one on my outdoor deck, under roof.  We also have a wall mounted TV & sound bar.
    That's why I said "almost always" because there are almost always exceptions. :)
    mike1watto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 26
    XedXed Posts: 1,601member

    The sensor is in the base of the HomePod mini, next to where the power supply cable enters the unit, and is about the size of a grain of rice. Apple has not commented on its existence, and its HomePod mini technical specs do not list its presence.

    This must be the spy chip that Bloomberg has been reporting on for so long!
    🤣 Will they ever retract that story?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 26
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,660member
    nicholfd said:

    dewme said:
    dewme said:
    The most likely answer is that it is to correct for how the audio is heard. Since temperature and humidity affect how sound is heard it makes great sense to put something like this in. 
    That doesn't really make sense.  People have been making sound reproduction devices for more than a century and none (that I know of) employ temp and humidity sensors to affect the sound.  Your claim sounds a bit dubious, if I'm honest.  Perhaps you have more info to support it.  The most obvious reason it doesn't make sense?  The sensor is inactive so it couldn't be contributing to how sound is heard.  

    This is most likely for a future Homekit elements like smart thermostat, humidifier, space heater, air conditioner, etc.
    I agree with the latter post and speculation that this sensor pair is most likely targeting a smart home related function, like feedback for a smart thermostat and HVAC. The first post is entirely correct that sound propagation is absolutely affected by temperature, humidity, and also atmospheric pressure. If you live fairly close to a highway or railroad tracks that you only notice at night when the temperature drops you know all about temperature related sound diffraction. However, I would not expect that temperature or humidity related diffraction would be significant enough to notice within the small listening area and volume that a HomePod Mini is designed to support. But who knows, without doing the math.

    It's also possible that these sensors are used to prevent the device from being operated outside of the temperature and humidity specifications. But since it's not hooked up, whatever it may be used for is a mystery.
    You may have misread my comment or I worded it badly, causing misinterpretation.  Either way,  I wasn't questioning whether or not temperature and humidity affect sound.  I was questioning his claim; which was: "The most likely answer is that it is to correct for how the audio is heard." ← That's what I said was dubious.  The science in general is fine.  The claimed application of said science (audio manipulation) is not imo.  As I said, I know of no one employing temperature and humidity to affect sound in audio devices... especially not $99 commodity priced audio devices.  It doesn't make sense.
    I agreed with you, but was also saying the other source of speculation wasn't totally off-base. I think everyone agrees that with these sensors being in a non functional state, it doesn't really matter, other than it being a curiosity for us all to speculate about. It's basically an archeological discovery unless Apple has provided a way to activate the circuitry after the fact.
    Again - it is physically connected (hooked up).  And people have no way of knowing if it is being used yet or not.  It's all speculation at this point.  Just because they don't "see" it working, or have any indication it is being used, doesn't mean it isn't being used.
    Sure, physically connected but currently non-functional and inactive. 

    I think that having these types of sensors, including temperature, barometric pressure, and humidity (as a start) inside a wide variety of devices that also have a geo tag location, especially mobile phones, is a fabulous idea. This would create a very wide and precise data source for weather prediction, storm tracking, and general ambient conditions. As long as no user-identifiable or specific device-instance identifiable information (e.g., serial number, IMEI, or MAC) ever leaves the device there should be no problems with privacy. This is crowdsourcing put to good use. 

    Without sounding too cynical, I believe sensors for other measurable parameters could also join the crowdsourcing party, including crowdsourced sensors that feed additional processing algorithms like time and/or location correlation, determination of movement and true/relative direction of propagation, etc. This would including chemical sensors (industrial accidents and chemical attacks), radiation (industrial accidents and nuclear attacks), EMP events, lightning, wildfires, gunfire detection, alarm/siren detection, seismic event detection, flooding events, etc. In essence, these devices form a huge cloud/array/mesh sensor network that is processed to detect and track the types of events I've mentioned. It's easy to imagine an event like a chemical spill where the danger is propagating along a path from the source of the spill. Being able to track the direction of the chemical cloud and the density of the chemical as it dissipates with distance would be rather useful. Less extreme events, like lightning occurring a few miles away could provide an early warning to people in exposed locations to seek shelter.
  • Reply 26 of 26
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,136member
    nicholfd said:

    zroger73 said:
    dewme said:
    The most likely answer is that it is to correct for how the audio is heard. Since temperature and humidity affect how sound is heard it makes great sense to put something like this in. 
    That doesn't really make sense.  People have been making sound reproduction devices for more than a century and none (that I know of) employ temp and humidity sensors to affect the sound.  Your claim sounds a bit dubious, if I'm honest.  Perhaps you have more info to support it.  The most obvious reason it doesn't make sense?  The sensor is inactive so it couldn't be contributing to how sound is heard.  

    This is most likely for a future Homekit elements like smart thermostat, humidifier, space heater, air conditioner, etc.
    I agree with the latter post and speculation that this sensor pair is most likely targeting a smart home related function, like feedback for a smart thermostat and HVAC. The first post is entirely correct that sound propagation is absolutely affected by temperature, humidity, and also atmospheric pressure. If you live fairly close to a highway or railroad tracks that you only notice at night when the temperature drops you know all about temperature related sound diffraction. However, I would not expect that temperature or humidity related diffraction would be significant enough to notice within the small listening area and volume that a HomePod Mini is designed to support. But who knows, without doing the math.

    It's also possible that these sensors are used to prevent the device from being operated outside of the temperature and humidity specifications. But since it's not hooked up, whatever it may be used for is a mystery.
    ...and, a HomePod mini is almost always operated indoors in a climate-controlled space with a relatively constant temperature in a relatively narrow range.
    Nope - I have one on my outdoor deck, under roof.  We also have a wall mounted TV & sound bar.

    Ugh! Outliers who think their uses cases are common. The previous comment said "almost always".
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
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