HomePod Mini, 6th-Gen Apple TV Could Track U1 Chip-Powered Devices, Leaker Says

KEY POINTS

  • Apple is working on a smaller version of the HomePod and a new Apple TV
  • Both devices will make use of Apple’s UWB technology, a report says
  • The tech allows both devices to act as base stations monitoring all U1 devices in a user’s home

Apple’s upcoming small home speaker, the HomePod Mini, and the sixth-generation Apple TV will feature advanced technologies that allow them to do certain things like keep track of other iDevices, a leaker claims.

Noted tipster Jon Prosser, creator of Frontpage Tech and leaker who claims to be the “world’s most controversial Apple reporter,” suggested that Apple is equipping its upcoming HomePod Mini and Apple TV with technologies allowing them to do “next level stuff.”

Per the leaker, who has a noteworthy 74.5% accuracy when it comes to Apple leaks and rumors according to AppleTrack, the new smart home speaker and TV device will “both act as UWB base stations.” UWB stands for “ultra wideband” and is used by the company’s U1 chip, allowing iDevices such as iPhones to be located in the event it gets misplaced or dropped.

The new technology found in the HomePod Mini and Apple TV will allow the devices to turn “regular hardware into HomeKit hardware,” Prosser said.

Here’s what the new devices can do using the new tech:

  • First, it will allow the devices to “precisely track” the user’s location inside the home as he or she carries a device with the U1 chip, such as the iPhone 11.
  • Second, it will allow the HomePod Mini and sixth-gen Apple TV to interact with other devices to control media playback, adjust brightness and volume levels and manage door locks.
  • Third, and more interestingly, it will allow the devices to work with the Find My App to alert users if someone or something (like a pet dog) moves another device inside the home or takes it outside. This will let users know if their devices have been tampered with or taken while they’re out.

The leaker added that the UWB technology turns the new HomePod Mini and Apple TV into a “Trojan horse from Apple that will enable AR capabilities in your Find My app within your home.“

That said, it’s entirely possible that the technology will allow users to do more things than what Prosser claimed they can do.

Apple HomePod The Apple HomePod is displayed at an Apple Store on Feb. 9, 2018 in San Francisco, California. Photo: Getty Images/Justin Sullivan

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