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HomePod now lets you know when your smoke alarm goes off

Published Apr 18th, 2023 1:34PM EDT
HomePod 2
Image: Apple Inc.

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Early this year, Apple released the new HomePod 2 — a revised version of the original model. With a more compact design, this smart speaker offers a few features its first iteration didn’t have, such as a temperature and humidity sensor and sound recognition for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

While the first feature was available at the launch of the HomePod 2 – and a software update turned on these sensors for the HomePod mini – Apple has now turned on support for sound recognition for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

The information was confirmed by TechCrunch. The HomePod 2 and HomePod mini can notify your iPhone when they hear the smoke alarm going off. That way, you can rest easy if you don’t have a smart smoke alarm in your home.

“If your system is connected to a smart camera, it will also present video of your place, so you can see what’s going on in real-time,” the publication says. In addition, Apple says this feature is end-to-end encrypted, so the sound recognition only happens locally on the speaker instead of in the cloud.

Amazon has offered a similar feature since 2019 with its Alexa Guard. One key difference is that the algorithm is trained for the sound of breaking glass, which could also be a good addition for Apple to make in coming software updates.

Although the TechCrunch report doesn’t include this detail, Apple has turned on sound recognition for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors with the HomePod 2 and HomePod mini by a server-side update. If users want to be sure they’re not missing out on the latest features, they can update their smart speaker to the latest version, which is 16.4.1.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.