We don’t have much for this year’s Apple Watch hardware update so far. A report from Digitimes today suggests that Apple has made a manufacturing deal with supplier ASE Technology, as it prepares production lines for the Apple Watch Series 6.
In particular, the report claims that the Watch will include a blood oxygen sensor for the first time. 9to5Mac previously found evidence of future support for blood oxygen monitoring in an early watchOS 7 build.
Based on the code findings, it was not clear if the feature could be unlocked for existing Watch models. It has been speculated for years that optical heart rate sensors are also capable of measuring the amount of oxygen in the blood, at least to an approximation.
While Apple announced watchOS 7 last month without talking at all about blood oxygen, it seemed like it was really expecting dedicated hardware support. The Digitimes report confirms that, indicating that the upcoming Watch will have a sensor specifically to detect oxygen levels in the blood.
Most healthy adults will have their blood oxygen level above 95%. Oxygen levels in the blood below a certain threshold are the main indicators of respiratory problems and can impair heart and brain function. Similar to existing Apple low heart rate reports or electrocardiogram features, the Apple Watch Series 6 can tell the user if it detects abnormal blood oxygen and suggests seeking medical help.
Apple usually announces the new Apple Watch at the iPhone fall event. This year, Apple has announced that the launch of the iPhone 12 will be delayed for several weeks. It is certainly possible that the New View may start even later than normal.
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