We don’t have much information about this year’s Apple Watch hardware update yet. A report by Digitimes today indicates that Apple has entered into a manufacturing agreement with its ASE technology supplier as it prepares production lines for the Apple Watch Series 6.
Most importantly, the report states that the Watch will for the first time include a blood oxygen sensor. 9to5Mac has previously found evidence of upcoming support for blood oxygen monitoring in the early WatchOS 7 lineup.
Based on the code findings, it was not clear whether the function could be unlocked for existing watch models. It has been speculated for years that optical heart rate sensors are also able to measure the amount of oxygen in the blood, at least to a certain approximation.
When Apple announced last month that WatchOS 7 wasn̵7;t talking about blood oxygen at all, it seemed to be really waiting for dedicated hardware support. The Digitimes report confirms this, suggesting that the next Watch will include a sensor specifically for detecting blood oxygen levels.
Most healthy adults will have blood oxygen levels above 95%. Blood oxygen levels below a certain threshold are the main indicators of respiratory problems and can impair heart and brain function. As with the Apple Watch alert for low heart rate or electrocardiogram function, the Apple Watch Series 6 could tell the user if it detects excessive blood oxygen and suggests seeking medical attention.
Apple usually announces a new Apple Watch for the fall of the iPhone event. This year, Apple announced that the launch of the iPhone 12 will be delayed by several weeks. It is certainly possible that the new watch may start later than usual.
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