watchOS 7 comes with dance workouts, hand-washing detectionThe Social Media Company
The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the way in which smart devices and fitness trackers help us to stay fit, even when we have limited options available – and the tech used in these devices is always improving. This year’s top predicted fitness trend, wearable technology has come into its own in 2020.
The Apple Watch is one of the most popular wearable fitness devices in the world, and the device’s latest operating system update promises even more features that will help fans to stay fit, whatever the circumstances.
Speaking to HT Tech, Julz Arney from Apple’s Fitness Technologies gave readers insight into one of the new workout tracking modes that will be included in watchOS 7, which is set to release later this year. Aside from providing workout tracking for Functional Strength Training, Core Training and Cooldown, watchOS 7 will also be able to track dance workouts – something that has, thus far, been unprecedented for smart watches.
What makes tracking dance workouts via smart watch so impressive is that the device has to be able to tell whether a user is using only their arms, only their lower body, or their entire body when dancing – this needs to be done if the user is to be presented with accurate metrics for the workout.
Apple has managed to build in this functionality into watchOS 7 by using data from both the device’s accelerometer and gyroscope, something Apple calls “advanced sensor fusion”.
“Creating an algorithm to give accurate calorie credit for dance was a real challenge for a few reasons. Movements in dance aren’t always repetitive or predictable like they are in walking and running, so what the sensors can detect strictly from the wrist is not necessarily the whole story,” said Arney.
The latest additions to watchOS 7 also take the pandemic into account, and this update will come with automatic hand-washing detection, which reminds users to keep on washing their hands if they haven’t done so for at least 20 seconds. The tech behind this functionality is also quite spectacular: in watchOS 7, the Apple Watch’s motion detectors, microphone, and on-device machine learning will be used to automatically detect the sounds and motions of hand-washing, triggering a 20-second timer.
“We’re energised by the positive impact Apple Watch is having on our customers and are excited to deliver meaningful new tools that support their health, fitness, and wellness. watchOS 7 brings sleep tracking, automatic handwashing detection, and new workout types together with a whole new way to discover and use watch faces, helping our users stay healthy, active, and connected,” said Apple’s chief operating officer, Jeff Williams.