Update: The Apple Watch Series 7 is now official. Read our guide for everything you need to know.
Evidence that an Apple Watch could non-invasively track blood glucose levels has surfaced. It also suggests the smartwatch-maker may be exploring the possibility of doing the same for monitoring alcohol levels, blood pressure and a host of other biomarkers.
Apple's potential next moves for the Apple Watch comes from a filing made at the SEC by UK-based startup Rockley Photonics as it prepares to go public in New York.
The startup builds non-invasive sensors designed primarily for the healthcare industry. On its website, it talks of bringing “laboratory diagnostics to the wrist" and claims its optical sensor technology could offer accuracy in the region of what infrared can deliver on that front.
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In the filing, it reveals that Apple is one of its largest customers and that its largest customers accounted for the majority of its revenue in 2019 and 2020. Unsurprisingly, there aren't details as to what exactly Rockley Photonics has provided Apple during the period.
The timing of the deal with Apple could mean it's planning to utilise the startup's optical sensor technology in upcoming Apple Watch models. The excitement and intrigue comes from the fact the startup talks of its technology being able to non-invasively monitor blood glucose levels, body temperature, lactate, alcohol, breath rate, hydration and even carbon monoxide.
The Apple Watch currently offers optical based heart rate monitoring and recently added a blood oxygen sensor on its Series 6 smartwatch, which is also a piece of biometric data that Rockley Photonics says its technology can track.
If Apple is planning to use this technology to bring non-invasive glucose monitoring to the wrist, it would herald a major breakthrough for wearables. We've spoken to many companies over the years who are in the business of developing remote glucose monitoring devices. Most have been sceptical about whether any wearable could make this possible.
The fact Apple is one of its biggest customers seems to be an indication that whatever this startup has been working on, it's caught the interest of the company responsible for building the biggest-selling smartwatch.
This isn't the first time that we've heard that Apple is looking at delivering a potentially huge health monitoring feature on its smartwatch either. Speculation goes back to 2017 when Tim Cook was said to be testing a prototype device connected to his Apple Watch to track blood sugar. It's also been said that Apple brought on a team of scientists to explore the potential for such a device.
So could we see an Apple Watch Series 7 in 2021 that has made the seemingly impossible possible? Will it be able to tell you when you've had a bit too much to drink to consider getting behind the wheel? It's a fascinating prospect and this piece of information only adds further intrigue as to what Apple could have in store for us in its next Watch.
Via: The Telegraph