Apple Watch could come with a built-in sleep tracker as soon as next year, report claims
- Apple is said to be testing a sleep-tracking feature for the next-generation Watch
- Few details are known about how users would be able to track their sleep quality
- But other wearables, such as Fitbit, have had sleep tracking tools for many years
Your Apple Watch may soon be able to tell you how to get a better night’s sleep.
The iPhone maker has been testing a sleep-tracking feature at its Cupertino, California headquarters that could arrive in the fifth-generation Apple Watch in 2020, Bloomberg reported, citing sources close to the situation.
It comes as Apple has increasingly signaled that it hopes to position the Watch as a health and fitness device.
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Apple is reportedly developing a sleep-tracking feature that could land in the Apple Watch as soon as next year. Pictured is the Apple Watch Series 4, which was released in 2018
Apple currently sells sleep-tracking technology on its website, though it’s limited to a sleep tracking sensor, placed under the user’s bed.
The technology is manufactured by Beddit, a Finnish startup that Apple acquired in 2017.
Users can also track their sleep by using third-party apps, such as AutoSleep or Sleep+.
But they’re limited by the Apple Watch’s comparatively short battery life.
The Apple Watch can be used for a full day before the battery needs to be charged overnight.
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Meanwhile, other wearables, such as the Fitbit Versa fitness tracker, can last weeks on a single charge.
Fitbit devices have come equipped with sleep tracking features for several years now.
In order for Apple to release sleep tracking features, it would have to make some changes to the Watch.
Apple currently sells sleep-tracking technology on its website, though it’s limited to a sleep tracking sensor (pictured), placed under a bed. The technology is manufactured by Beddit
Apple could increase the Watch’s battery life or devise a way to be able to run a sleep tracking feature in low-power mode, so that it doesn’t require so much battery power, according to Bloomberg.
The Silicon Valley giant has already moved to establish the Watch as a health device by introducing an ECG monitor in the Series 4 last year.
Additionally, CEO Tim Cook signaled that he’s doubling down on health-related services.
‘If you zoom out into the future, and you look back, and you ask the question: “What was Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind?”, it will be about health,’ Cook said in a recent interview.
‘We’re democratizing it. We’re taking what has been with the institutions and empowering the individual to manage their health.’
WHAT IS NEW IN THE APPLE WATCH SERIES 4?
Apple says its smartwatch range has become an indispensable part of the daily lives of millions of people across the world.
Jeff Williams, Apple Chief Operating Officer, unveiled the latest generation of the new smartwatch on-stage at a media event at the Steve Jobs Theatre.
Known as Apple Watch Series 4, the company claims the new wearable has been rebuilt from the ground-up.
The digital crown, which is used to scroll through lists, has been overhauled to include haptic feedback. The LTE red dot indicator is now a small ring.
Apple says the speaker included on the Apple Watch Series 4 is now 50 per cent louder thanks to a redesign.
The Apple Watch Series 4 has a 30 per cent larger display than its predecessor, with the screen now extending to the very edge of the device.
The updated Digital Crown now includes haptic feedback, offering a more mechanical and responsive feel through the sensation of incremental clicks
Apple says the OLED display curves around the edge of the wearable to ensure the physical footprint did not increase too much compared to previous generations.
The Watch will be available in two sizes — 40mm and 44mm.
For comparison, the previous generation Apple Watch range was available in 38mm and 42mm variations.
The larger display on the Series 4 allows the operating system, watchOS 5, to show more information through Apple’s built-in app complications.
These have been redesigned to include more information, including photographs of favourite contacts.
Powering the Apple Watch Series 4 is the custom dual-core 64-bit processor, known as the S4, which is designed and created by Apple. This is coupled with a new GPU.
According to the company, these internal improvements result in performance that is twice as fast as previous generations.
Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, speaks about the Apple Watch Series 4 at the Steve Jobs Theatre, during an event to announce new Apple products
A new built-in accelerometer and gyroscope track motion data eight times faster than Apple Watch Series 3.
These new sensors allow Apple to track unintentional falls for the first time.
The Apple Watch Series 4 analyses trajectory and detects when the wearer brings up their arms to protect themselves during a fall, surfacing a shortcut to quickly allow people to call for help.
If the smartwatch senses the wearer has been immobile for one minute, it will automatically initiate a call and send a message to your emergency contact.
Apple Watch Series 4 lets users take an ECG reading from the wrist using the new ECG app, which takes advantage of the electrodes built into the Digital Crown and new electrical heart rate sensor in the back crystal.
To take an ECG, users only need to open the app and put their fingers on the crown to take a reading. This takes around 30 seconds to complete.
It is the first ECG product to be offered to consumers over the counter.
It can classify whether the heart is beating in a normal pattern or whether there are signs of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), a heart condition that could lead to major health complications.
All recordings, their associated classifications and any noted symptoms are stored in the Health app in a PDF that can be shared with physicians.
Apple Watch Series 4 lets users take an ECG reading from the wrist using the new ECG app, which takes advantage of the electrodes built into the Digital Crown
Despite the larger display, and thinner profile, Apple says the Series 4 has the same 18-hour battery life as its predecessor.
Apple Watch Series 4 with GPS will start from $399, with pre-orders available on Friday September 14 2018. There is a version of the smartwatch with cellular connectivity that starts from $499 for the 40mm model.
Both new smartwatches will ship on September 21 2018.
The previous version of the Watch – known as Series 3 – will still be available from Apple priced at $279, the company says.
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