Friday, October 21, 2016

Apple Reportedly Working On Sleep Tracking App For Watch, HealthKit Expansion

If sources are to be believed, then it looks as though Apple could have lofty plans to increase the capability of the Apple Watch from a health and well-being perspective.

As it currently stands, the Apple Watch has a bunch of integrated sensors that are capable of tracking and recording data, but rather than actually acting intelligently on that data, the platform really relies on the user for interpretation and to ascertain the bigger picture. If Bloomberg’s latest report is accurate, all of that could change in the future with intelligent analysis of sensor data, as well as a more accurate understanding of a wearer’s fitness levels.

Apple watch red main (1)

A number of sources have reportedly confirmed to Bloomberg that the Apple Watch could be about to benefit from a number of first-party Apple apps that are designed to track a user’s sleeping patterns, as well as ascertain fitness levels from the collected data. Without additional granular information being available on how the apps actually function, it’s very difficult to pull together the intricacies of the proposed solution, but it’s highly likely that the functionality would make use of motion tracking to track a user’s sleep patterns, which is similar to how a number of popular sleep trackers currently work.

From the perspective of actually gauging fitness levels, or using the Apple Watch to make recommendations on how fit an individual is, or should be, Apple could relatively easily make use of existing heart rate data that the Apple Watch already tracks as part of its capabilities.

It’s being suggested that the new app, or apps, would record the level of time taken for the heart rate to drop from its peak rate to resting level in order to gauge fitness levels. Presumably the app would then alert the user and reference those levels against specimens of a similar gender, age and weight range. Hypothetically anyway.


If these new features are in the works, then it would presumably be relatively easy for Apple to implement. All of that functionality could be added with a software solution rather than having to make any hardware changes to the Apple Watch, or wait for a new Series 3 Apple Watch to hit the market.

According to the report, Apple now wants its HealthKit framework to assist users with their health and fitness and making recommendations for diagnosis, rather than simply giving them the tracking data and forcing the user to make the most out of it by themselves.

(source: Bloomberg)

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