The rumor keeps swirling around Apple Watch 8as sources report that its skin temperature sensor may not make it into the finished wearable in time for its release.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently said that Apple is still working on the software component of the feature, ensuring the displayed temperature is accurate and meets Apple’s high standards ahead of the watch’s release date.
According to Kuo, the feature was supposed to debut in the Apple Watch 7, before being canceled due to time constraints. However, this inability to get the right skin temperature detection feature is a blow – which has led Apple to fall behind some of its rivals in the health stakes, including Fitbit.
(1/3) Apple canceled body temperature measurement for Apple Watch 7 because the algorithm failed to qualify before entering the EVT phase last year. I think the Apple Watch 8 in 2H22 could take body temperature if the algorithm can meet Apple’s high requirements before mass production.May 1, 2022
The Fitbit Sense, released in September 2020, uses a dedicated sensor to measure skin temperature changes every minute while you sleep, then displays a graph of the changes the next morning. Many other Fitbit devices, including the Charge 4, Charge 5, Inspire 2, Luxe, and Versa series, can all provide a single average estimate of your nighttime skin temperature with their existing sensor networks.
Now the Fitbit Sense2, surely one of the main rivals of the Apple Watch 8 in the field of well-being, would be on the horizon. If the Apple Watch 8 fails to get the feature in time, it could be a real blow for Fitbit.
Analysis: Why wrist skin temperature tracking matters to Apple
Tracking skin temperature is useful for several reasons. If you’re training hard, a higher temperature may indicate that you’re not recovering well and need more time to rest. It has been used to detect potential infection or disease, although it is not a reliable indicator on its own. It’s also useful for tracking ovulation; a research paper published last year in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that wrist skin temperature, measured continuously during sleep, was an effective way to capture temperature changes caused by the menstrual cycle.
Other fitness trackers like the Oura smart ring can measure body temperature overnight, with an accuracy of 0.13°C. So what’s the holdup for Apple?
Kuo States “The challenge of implementing accurate body temperature measurement is that skin temperature varies rapidly depending on outdoor environments. A smartwatch cannot support core temperature measurement in terms of hardware. , so it needs a great algorithm to work together.
Samsung, Kuo notes, is facing similar software issues when it comes to skin temperature. The fact that Samsung and Apple are battling the same issue might suggest that they’re working on a more accurate way to record and present the information Fitbit currently uses, and that they wish they had time to get it right.
On the other hand, the Apple Watch is more of an all-around smartwatch than the fitness-focused Sense, and Apple might struggle to fit it all in.