Last week details on a future HomePod Mini surfaced providing details of price, size and chip. But now additional details have emerged from known leaker Jon Posser. That claims that the future HomePod Mini and Apple TV could include Ultra Wideband support. So what does this mean for HomeKit and the future of the connected home?
Apple last year introduced a U1 chip that enables Ultra Wideband support for improved spatial awareness. This measures the precise distance between two devices that support Ultra Wideband. This is calculated by measuring the time that it takes for a radio wave to pass between the two devices.
The latest claim by Prosser says the HomePod mini and Apple TV could act as base stations with UWB built in. This could track location of people in the home using an iPhone or Apple Watch. It could allow users to interact with media controls, smart lighting, door locks and other HomeKit devices. This will could turn compatible Apple hardware into HomeKit control devices.
HomePod mini & the new Apple TV will both act as UWB base-stations 🧐
– Will precisely track your location as you walk inside house with other U1 devices.
– Use info for media controls, brightness/volume control, & door locks.
Turns regular hardware into HomeKit hardware.
— Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) October 12, 2020
Ultra Wideband and HomeKit
So an example of this would be, if a user is wearing an Apple watch. The HomeKit Hub such as the HomePod Mini would know where you are in the home. If you were then entering the living room with your apple watch on your wrist. It could trigger HomeKit compatible devices in that room.
Taking it one step further, it could use automation rules for certain times of day, meaning it could trigger devices to act in a certain way. So in the evening, if you walked into the bedroom, it could ensure the lights are dimmed and set to warm colours. Whereas if you walked into the living room in a morning, it could raise the blinds and turn on the HomePod to your morning playlist or favorite radio station.
While most sources are pointing towards the HomePod Mini being announced at Apple’s Event tomorrow. Sources suggest that the new Apple TV with a faster processor and a revamped remote control is delayed until 2021.
So what do you think of the HomePod Mini and inclusion of Ultra Wideband capabilities? Well, we don’t have long to wait as Apple’s Event is tomorrow at 6pm BST. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram to be notified when more details emerge.