SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 2 — While there are already a multitude of smart devices that can measure the climate in your home, this technology is now coming to some audio speakers. In addition to playing music and offering an intelligent voice assistant, these devices can now measure the temperature and humidity level in the room in which they’re located.

Until now, for a smart speaker to provide a temperature reading, it had to be paired with a thermometer or a connected weather station. On the new generation of HomePod and HomePod mini from Apple or the Echo and Echo Dot from Amazon, this information will come directly from the speaker.

These products contain a temperature sensor, optimized for indoor home settings, ie, an ambient temperature between 15 and 30 degrees Celsius. However, the accuracy of the sensors could very well decrease in case of prolonged audio playback at high volume levels. Plus, you’ll have to wait a little time after switching on before the speaker can provide its first measurements. Note that Apple’s speakers can also measure the ambient humidity level.

These functions can be controlled by voice, simply by asking Siri or Alexa what the temperature is in the room. The presence of this sensor can also be used for automation, for example, to activate a fan or close blinds when an indoor space reaches a given temperature.

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These innovations compete directly with connected devices specially dedicated to measuring climate and air quality, even if the speakers are not yet able to detect the presence of fine particles, CO2 or radioactive gases in the home, as do Airthings sensors, for example. — ETX Studio