The Apple analyst Mark Gurman is predicting that the tech giant will place a body temperature sensor in the next version of the Apple Watch. In doing so, he is revising a January report that suggested that Apple would forego the technology in the upcoming Apple Watch Series 8.
However, the news does come with a few caveats. According to Gurman, the body temperature sensor will only have limited utility when it makes its debut, and will not be able to provide the wearer with accurate skin temperature readings in real time. That means that the Watch would not be able to notify someone about sudden changes, or when they are running a fever. The body temperature sensor would instead be used primarily for fertility tracking, so Watch wearers can keep tabs on their menstrual cycles.
In the meantime, it seems as if Gurman is sticking to some of his predictions about other features. Gurman still believes that Apple will not offer a Watch with a blood pressure monitor until 2024 at the earliest, and that the feature might not appear until 2025. A functioning glucose monitor is likely even farther out, with Gurman declining to offer any kind of timetable as to when Apple would be ready to roll out the product for the consumer market.
The technology developer Rockley Photonics has indicated that it could have a blood sugar monitor ready for wearable devices as soon as 2023, though Apple would presumably want to conduct its own tests before offering it to customers. The medical-grade device manufacturer Abbott unveiled its own line of wearables with glucose monitoring capabilities earlier this year.
On the software front, Gurman is reporting that Apple’s watchOS 9 will come with new power-saving features to improve performance. It could also offer better atrial fibrillation detection to let wearers know exactly how often they enter such a state throughout the day. That data could let people know if they are at risk for a stroke or some other health condition.
Apple has reportedly been working on a blood pressure sensor for the past four years, but has yet to deliver a system with a suitable accuracy rate. The Apple Watch Series 8 has not yet been announced, though Apple is expected to offer more details at the WWDC 2022 event in June.