IDG Blog | Why you shouldn’t expect a body temperature sensor on the Apple Watch 8

The Apple Watch 8, due to be released this fall, is rumored to be equipped with a body temperature sensor. this rumor Bloomberg last Junestarted with an article that Apple is developing several sensors for the Apple Watch.
ⓒ Getty Images Bank

According to reports at the time, Apple was planning to put a body temperature sensor in the Apple Watch 7, which will be released in 2021, but it is said that it has been delayed until 2022. Later, other media reported the same news, supporting the fact that the Apple Watch would be equipped with a body temperature sensor.

However, Bloomberg noted in a recent newsletter that Apple is developing advanced features such as a body temperature sensor and blood pressure and blood sugar monitoring. The body temperature sensor is included in Apple’s 2022 roadmap, but discussions about the body temperature sensor have been slowing down lately. Blood pressure sensors will have to wait at least 2-3 years, and blood sugar monitoring may be difficult to develop until the late 2020s.”

What should be noted in Bloomberg’s report is that the development of the temperature/blood pressure/blood glucose sensor has not been canceled, but that there is less news about it than last year. The lack of news doesn’t mean the Apple Watch won’t come with advanced sensors, but it’s wise not to expect it.

As with most leaked rumors about the Apple Watch 7, no one knows what Apple will do until the product is released. However, it may not be suitable for the Apple Watch yet, as temperature measurement carries risks.

First of all, measuring skin temperature on the wrist is not ideal. The location is inappropriate because it is directly affected by various variables such as external temperature, direct sunlight, and movement. That doesn’t mean there aren’t smartwatches with skin temperature sensors. However, the representative product, the Fitbit Sense, only measures changes during the night while sleeping, and must be worn for at least three days to account for personal standards. It is not reliable enough to predict disease.

The Fitbit Sense is equipped with a skin temperature sensor. ⓒ IDG

This may be the reason why Apple is waiting. It is easy to put a skin temperature sensor on the Apple Watch, but it is difficult to meet users’ expectations. Users will want the Apple Watch to act as a thermometer to check if it’s overheating at any time. And if users want to use body temperature data collected by their Apple Watch to track and predict fertility, they’ll want to avoid making false predictions.

Apple already has a lot of problems other than having a skin temperature sensor that only gives you a rough idea, not the way you’d expect it to. Less than 24 hours of battery life and poor sleep tracking are typical examples.

Since body temperature is, after all, a very important health indicator, it is understandable that Apple wants the body temperature measured by the Apple Watch to be a meaningful and accurate factor. Apple will probably have to spend a little more time developing a meaningful and accurate body temperature sensor that meets users’ expectations.

What Apple needs is an ultra-low-power temperature sensor that is highly accurate, very small, and can produce tens of millions at low cost. It also requires advanced machine learning training with data from different sensors to eliminate multiple variables and provide accuracy and consistency, and apply the data in a way that works every time to diagnose real-world health problems like illness or childbirth.

Even if the user doesn’t actually have the disease, even the slightest false alarm that he may have the disease can lead to distrust of the device as a whole. As the Apple Watch has become a key health and fitness device, the decline in reliability is catastrophic for Apple. In particular, predicting fertility can be a bigger problem.

Therefore, it is extremely unlikely that the Apple Watch 8, due to be released this fall, will have a skin temperature sensor. But if a skin temperature sensor is really equipped, users should lower their expectations. The Apple Watch 8’s skin temperature sensor won’t act as a thermometer to instantly check if you’re overheating. Rather, it may be to the extent that another data indicator related to sleep tracking is created or the accuracy of the cycle exercise measurement is improved. It’s not a groundbreaking change in how you use the Apple Watch. The use of the Apple Watch as a digital thermometer will be even more future.

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Source: ITWorld Korea by

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