Apple watch

Apple Watch 8 body temperature sensor – here’s what it could be used for

The Apple Watch 8 is rumored to house a body temperature reader, potentially introducing the first new health sensor to Apple’s smartwatch in two years.

As you may remember, the Apple Watch 6 pioneered blood oxygen (SpO2) measurements, but the Apple Watch 7 skipped hardware-based health upgrades.

While features like blood pressure monitoring and blood sugar monitoring for the Apple Watch are supposed to be years away, a skin or body temperature reader seems likely according to recent reports. apple tipster Marc Gurman said in April that Apple “plans to add a body temperature sensor to the watch as early as this year.”

Gurman is also keen on new features in watchOS 9, as well as the launch of Apple Watch SE 2 and a rugged Apple Watch designed for outdoor sports. But we’re particularly interested in the temperature sensor and what it could mean for the flagship Apple Watch 8. How will it work? Will there be a dedicated body temperature app? Can body temperature readings alert you when something is wrong?

Of course, any discussion of the Apple Watch 8 body temperature sensor right now is speculation. That said, since the Apple Watch is generally the best smartwatch every year, we’re curious how it will improve or expand functionality. Here’s what we know so far about the Apple Watch 8 temperature reader, and how it’ll stack up against the competition.

Apple Watch 8 body temperature sensor – what will it do?

The answer might seem obvious: the Apple Watch 8 body temperature sensor will read your body or skin temperature, right? Maybe, but maybe not. Unlike heart rate and blood oxygen sensors, the Apple Watch 8 body temperature sensor may not be able to give instant readings whenever you are wondering about your temperature.

According to Gurman, the temperature sensor will be used to inform fertility or other expected health characteristics of women. Apple Health has recently ramped up its efforts around women’s health, with the Apple Women’s Health Study spotlighting PCOS and Apple Fitness Plus creating a post-pregnancy workout collection.

Research from the Department of Reproductive Endocrinology, University Hospital of Zurich in Switzerland found that wrist skin temperature can detect ovulation and has a higher true positive rate than basal body temperature. “For women interested in maximizing the chances of pregnancy, continuously measured wrist skin temperature during sleep is more sensitive than BBT in detecting ovulation,” the study concluded.

Collecting wrist skin temperature data from the Apple Watch appears to be a convenient way for Apple Health to further contribute to women’s health tracking. This would easily make the Apple Watch 8 one of the best smartwatches for women. While not benefiting users who can’t or don’t want to track fertility, the sensor app feels a little limited.

Reading skin temperature during sleep for all users could offer a happy medium. In watchOS 8, Apple Watch sleep tracking added respiratory rate (or breathing rate) to accumulated sleep data.

Perhaps in later watchOS updates or future releases, temperature sensors will expand to on-demand skin temperature readings or proactive notifications. For example, a higher than normal skin temperature can indicate illness, stress, or even conditions that you may not be aware of.

Apple Watch 8 against the competition

A body temperature sensor for a smartwatch or health accessory is not revolutionary. Some of the best fitness trackers like the Whoop 4.0 and Oura Ring Generation 3 can monitor your skin temperature for readiness and recovery. If your skin temperature is abnormally high, it could mean that you are sick or that you are not following your usual routine. Oura’s ring will even recommend taking a day off if it detects a change in temperature.

Two of the best Fitbit models – the Fitbit Sense and the Fitbit Charge 5 – also have skin temperature sensors. These devices track your skin temperature overnight to see if the readings differ from your personal baseline, which could be a sign of illness or other conditions.

Users with a Fitbit Premium subscription can also see more detailed information about skin temperature variation trends. When comparing Apple Watch and Fitbit, Fitbit has a consistent advantage in sleep tracking features, but skin or body temperature readings for Apple Watch 8 could tip the scales.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 does not have a skin temperature reader, but the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is also tip to obtain skin temperature reading. Coupled with a potential approximation of FDA approval for its existing blood pressure sensor, Samsung’s smartwatch could beat the Apple Watch 8 in terms of health features.

There’s still a lot we don’t know about the Apple Watch 8, and if disappointment from last year’s rumor was a lesson, we should be skeptical of third-party reports. Still, it feels like we’re due for a new health sensor in the next-gen Apple Watch – if not a body temperature reader, maybe something else.