Body temperature-sensing technology is thought to be a major upgrade the Apple Watch Series 8 will offer when it debuts at Apple’s “Far out” event next week. Thanks to a variety of reports from reliable sources, we have a fairly good idea of how the body temperature health features are expected to work.
Sources such as Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo have long been rumoring about a temperature-monitoring feature for the Apple Watch, but over the past year, rumors of the feature have gradually taken shape, and the feature will finally be available in the “Apple Watch Series 8″ later this year. ” on the debut. Contrary to the hopes of some observers hoping to be able to check their body temperature or get notifications if they have a fever, it looks like the feature may be significantly more limited at launch.
The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman report that body temperature sensors are primarily used to help with fertility planning, give women insight into their ovulation cycles and can be used to improve pattern detection when tracking sleep. Apple significantly bolstered the Apple Watch’s sleep-tracking capabilities in watchOS 9, so further improvements in this area aided by hardware this year seem plausible.
Apple also plans to upgrade the body temperature sensor to operate when the owner has a fever. But it seems that this update will not appear on the Apple Watch 8. Gurman believes that further in the future, Apple Watch models could determine if a user has a higher-than-normal body temperature, but it is still unlikely to show an exact measurement. All in all, this suggests that the body temperature sensor that comes with the Apple Watch Series 8 may not be quite what some users have come to expect.
According to Kuo, Apple originally intended to provide body temperature measurement for the “Apple Watch Series 7” models, but the company shelved the plan after the body temperature algorithm it developed failed to meet the requirements before the device entered engineering verification testing (EVT). ) stage last year.
Apple’s problems with body temperature measurement allegedly have to do with the fact that skin temperature changes rapidly based on the environment, and since smartwatches can’t use hardware to monitor core body temperature, the feature relies heavily on algorithms that produce accurate results. This likely explains why the body temperature sensing capabilities of the Apple Watch may be limited when the Series 8 launches later this year.
Last month, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple a patent for a temperature-sensing system apparently related to the Apple Watch, including a “high-precision and high-precision absolute temperature sensor.” Apple’s patent protects an electronic device housing that encloses a temperature sensing system comprising a temperature sensor and a differential temperature probe.
The system works by calculating the difference between two ends of a probe. One end touches the surface to be measured, while the other is connected to a temperature sensor. The voltage delta across the different ends of the probe can then be correlated to a differential temperature measurement.
It’s unclear if the exact technology outlined in the patent is related to the body temperature sensor expected to be used in the “Apple Watch Series 8.” It is also possible that Apple plans to use a proprietary system from Rockley Photonics, a British health technology startup that has created a sensor system designed for wearable devices that includes a core body temperature sensor.
Last year, it was revealed that Apple is the largest customer of Rockley Photonics. Rockley’s financial filings said that Apple accounted for the majority of its revenue over the last two years and that it has an ongoing “supply and development agreement” with the company, under which it expects to continue to heavily rely on Apple for most of its revenue. Rockley previously said that it expects its technology to be used in consumer smartwatches in 2022, which could align with the launch of the Apple Watch Series 8.
In addition to the body temperature sensor, the “Apple Watch Series 8” is expected to feature an S8 chip and a low-power mode to extend battery life. The device is highly likely to be unveiled at Apple’s event on Wednesday, September 7.