A month ago we echoed the fact that the new Apple Watch Series 8 could integrate a temperature sensor which would be very interesting when it comes to taking care of the user’s health. And recently, the company received a patent for a fairly adequate temperature sensor for your new watch.
This just a few weeks before the new Apple Watch with its ability to detect the body temperature of its owner is presented.
Apple Watch Series 8 update could be one of the biggest
Some time ago we commented that according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, this new series of watches would incorporate at least one new sensor that would offer us new, much more comprehensive measures.
And the patent discovered by MyHealthyApple, was filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and under the name of “Temperature gradient sensors in electronic devices”. And although the name of the patent may imply that it can be applied to any device, in the illustrations, on the contrary, the the only device shown is the Apple Watchso we could deduce that the specific application of this technology.
How is the patent for the temperature sensor of the new Apple Watch Series 8?
To understand what the illustration represents, it is necessary to take into account that Apple has protected the system with a case. The temperature detection system in itself It consists of two parts: the temperature sensor and a differential temperature probe.
How does the Apple Watch temperature sensor work?
Becoming a little more technical, the operation results from the calculate the difference between the two ends of a probe. One of the ends is in contact with the surface to be measured (the skin) while the other end is connected to a temperature sensor.
The voltage difference between the two ends results in a differential temperature measurement. For its part, the temperature probe was configured to generate a voltage corresponding to a temperature gradient between one end of the probe and its other end. And according to the information extracted from the patent:
A first end of the probe can be attached to the temperature sensor and a second end of the probe can be attached to any suitable surface, internal or external, of the electronic device. […] With this form of construction, the temperature sensor can be configured to measure a temperature, at any sampling time or sampling rate, of any surface or volume to which the sensing surface is exposed.
Subsequently, the patent information attempts to explain in a very technical way the operation of the Material temperature detection. But in general he points out that it is possible to use a specific temperature sensor inside a device to control the temperature of a component (like the processor), in the same way it is possible that the the sensor is capable of measuring the absolute temperature of an external surface
Beyond its operation, Apple also specifies the location explicitly from the patent, stating that it can be found in the “back surface, like the back glass of a smartwatch”and refers to a “high precision and precision absolute temperature sensor”.
What are the applications of the new temperature sensor?
Obviously, we cannot drop all the rumors and news that maybe the Apple Watch Series 8 will include a temperature sensor, as we’ve already mentioned, something Kuo took it upon himself to echo some time ago. However, reports indicate that the device is unlikely to provide an accurate measurement of body temperature for some unforeseen events that we will highlight later, but, even so, this sensor could be effective for new health monitoring functions.
According to the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, this new sensor will be very useful to help plan fertilityas this would allow women to get much more accurate information about their ovulation cycle.
And this new application is not surprising if we take into account that the Cupertino company has given great importance to women’s health in recent years, and this new application would be a new way to clarify the company goals.
On another side, There has also been talk of better sleep tracking. It’s thanks to the combination of technologies that Apple has been boosting such as blood oxygen detection which has significantly improved the detection of sleep monitoring models, so this new technology could possibly improve that aspect this year.
Finally, logically, there was also talk of the possibility that the sensor could detect when the user has a fever; however, this feature is really unlikely to arrive with the launch of the Apple Watch Series 8. And it is expected that future Apple Watch models will be able to determine whether the user’s temperature is higher than normal, but still the exact measurement seems to be far.
What problems did the temperature sensor face?
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo noted that Apple originally planned to bring the body temperature measurement feature with the Apple Watch Series 7 models.However, the company moved on after the body temperature algorithm it had developed failed to meet the standards needed to enter the Engineering Validation Testing (EVT) phase last year.
The problem is that skin temperature can change very quickly depending on the environment where the user is, and because a smart watch does not have the Material necessary to measure temperature accurately, the function is entirely dependent on the algorithm returning accurate results.
Yes the patent filed only covers one part of the problem; There is now a well-configured temperature sensing system, however, there is still no information on an algorithm capable of producing the accurate results needed.