Today, HomePod and HomePod mini are getting the Sound Recognition tool that was promised. When turned on, your HomePod will listen for the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. When the warning goes off, the HomePod will let your iPhone know through the Home app.

The feature was first said to be coming soon in January when the second-generation HomePod was released.

By using the always-on microphone in the HomePod, you don’t have to buy new internet-connected smoke alarms. Instead, the HomePod can just improve the functionality of the “dumb” offline smoke alarms you already have in your home.

The best time to use Sound Recognition messages is when your alarm goes off and you are not at home.

How to Enable Home Pod Sound Recognition

Open the Home app and go to the Home Settings > Safety & Security screen to turn on Sound Recognition. Then turn on “Sound Recognition.” You can also handle critical notification alerts from supported safety and security devices in your home and let home members “check in” and listen to sounds in the home.

(If the area for Safety and Security is grayed out, make sure your HomePod has the most recent software. For Sound Recognition to work, the home also needs to be updated to the new Home design.)

As you might expect from Apple, this function keeps your private information safe. In the same way that the HomePod looks for “Hey Siri,” the processing for recognizing smoke and carbon monoxide alarm sounds is done locally on the HomePod.

If you have a HomeKit camera in your home, alarm messages could include video from it. As with all HomeKit video features, this is sent to your iPhone using end-to-end security.

You might have forgotten that the iPhone and iPad already have safety features for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. These are called “Sound Recognition” features. Your iOS device can listen for sirens, sounds from your pet, glass breaking, and more. Use Settings > Accessibility > Sound Recognition to turn on these alerts.

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