Apple’s HomePod and HomePod mini can now alert you if an alarm goes off at home while you’re away. Sound Recognition, a feature announced alongside the latest full-sized version of Apple’s speaker, is finally available beginning today.
After setting up Sound Recognition in the Home app on an Apple device, your HomePod(s) will listen for smoke or carbon monoxide alarms. If it hears one, it will send an alert to your iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch; you’ll also see a banner in the Home app in case you accidentally dismiss the notification. At that point, you can quickly check in, using your iPhone or iPad, to hear the alarm and call emergency services or otherwise act accordingly.
In addition, if you have a HomeKit camera connected in the same space, the notification will include a video feed of the incident. Apple says all audio analysis occurs on the device as a privacy safeguard, and checking in to hear the audio is end-to-end encrypted. Finally, Siri will announce to anyone at home that you’re checking in.
Apple recommends adding an extra layer of protection by setting up an automation that will turn on any HomeKit-compatible smart fans and open smart blinds if your indoor temperature rises above a certain threshold. That feature uses built-in temperature and humidity sensors on the smart speakers.
Apple launched the latest HomePod in January after discontinuing the first-generation (full-sized) model in March 2021. The company snuck temperature and humidity sensors into the HomePod mini but didn’t unlock that capability until January, nearly a year and a half after the smaller speaker’s launch.
This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-homepod-can-now-alert-you-if-a-smoke-alarm-goes-off-while-youre-out-160043832.html?src=rss
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