Image source: Apple

Apple Watch to get a temperature sensor in 2022 but not blood pressure

Apple is reportedly on-course to add a temperature sensor to its next smartwatch. However its plants to include blood pressure tracking have been pushed back to 2024. Glucose readings are even further off. The company has, apparently, hit a few snags when it comes to integration blood pressure technology which has led to delays in releasing the feature.

Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets

It was previously speculated there was a chance Apple would introduce blood pressure readings on the Series 8 watch. The company has allegedly been working on the function for some four years now. But it seems Apple will need a a few more years and the feature may not be available until 2024 at the earliest. That’s Apple Watch 10, in case you were wondering. Or maybe even 11 if it takes until 2025.

The problem is arriving at the desired accuracy in internal tests with Apple employees. It seems this is taking longer than anticipated. In the end we might get something that only reports on high blood pressure, but does not spit out actual values for systolic and diastolic readings.

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the same delays are hitting glucose tracking. Don’t expect to see it later this year. Or the year after, for that matter.

“People with knowledge of the matter, don’t anticipate blood pressure monitoring will be available until 2024 at the earliest.” he said earlier this year.

“Even then, the feature may be pushed to 2025 due to challenges with accuracy.”

A new health sensor on the Apple Watch in 2022?

It is not all bad news, though. The Apple Watch Series 8 is tipped to get a new health sensor – for temperature tracking. The info comes, once again, from Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman.  

In the latest issue of his Power On newsletter (via Macrumors), he reports that Apple Watch Series 8 is expected to see the light of day with a sensor for measuring body temperature. This should not allow the smartwatch to display an exact measured value, but the wearable could notify the user if the temperature is higher than his typical readings.

This is something akin to what most Fitbit trackers can do – track skin temperature variations. It is a useful metric but not ideal. Of more use would be something that accurately estimates a person’s core temperature.

Apple’s temperature reader will reportedly be able to inform fertility planning and other women’s health features. And the software will be able to warn of high body temperatures.

Apart from the temperature sensor, the next Apple Watch should have relatively few innovations. Mark Gurman assumes that the upcoming models will use more or less the same performance tech as the Series 6 and Series 7. However, the more expensive versions of the Series 8 are to be delivered with an improved display.

All of this points to an iterative upgrade with the 2022 version of the Apple Watch. Sorry folks, nothing revolutionary or game-changing this time around. But more advanced tech seems just around the corner. Of most promise is tech under development by Rockley Photonics. They are working on a spectrometer-on-chip that will be able to track everything mentioned in this article, in addition to hydration lactate and much, much more.

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