Airplane Mode and Radiation

hawkeyext

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 8, 2014
3
0
New York
Apple's website states that the Watch will have an Airplane Mode function. Has anyone found any information on what the phone will still accomplish while in Airplane Mode? Aside from telling time and giving you access to data (contacts, messages, etc.) stored on the watch, I'm thinking it will still track movement and heart-rate since those don't send out any kind of signals, correct? And does the watch work solely through Bluetooth waves which then connect to the phone which then connects to a 4G network?

I'm asking because I used to have a Fitbit Force before they were recalled. I loved it but was very concerned about the radiation emitted through Bluetooth. If the Apple Watch could be used as a functional watch + Fitness Tracker without the radiation that would be awesome.
 

Anonymous Freak

macrumors 603
Dec 12, 2002
5,233
582
Cascadia
Bluetooth is so low power, you get significantly more radiation from all the WiFi base stations around you than from a Bluetooth device strapped to your wrist. (They operate on the same frequency.)

If you are that concerned about the potential radiation from a Bluetooth device, you should stop carrying any electronics that have any form of wireless communication on your person, and make your house in to a faraday cage.
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,267
4,217
Atlanta
...And does the watch work solely through Bluetooth waves which then connect to the phone which then connects to a 4G network?...
According to Apple it only connects and communicates to your iPhone but using both BT and WiFi to do this. Kind of like the 'mystical' AirPlay.
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
I loved it but was very concerned about the radiation emitted through Bluetooth. If the Apple Watch could be used as a functional watch + Fitness Tracker without the radiation that would be awesome.
Just curious: what concerned you about the electromagnetic radiation?

(Even though they share the same word that means to spread out, electromagnetic radiation is not like nuclear radiation.)
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,267
4,217
Atlanta
Just curious: what concerned you about the electromagnetic radiation?

(Even though they share the same word that means to spread out, electromagnetic radiation is not like nuclear radiation.)
People are naturally fearful of things that can't see (or sense). Most people have no idea that radio waves are simply 'light' waves at a lower frequency (below red) than we can see. Radio waves and light we see are both electromagnetic radiation.
 

hawkeyext

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 8, 2014
3
0
New York
Thanks for the responses everybody.

A big part of the concern I have is due to the proximity and length of time this device is on your body. If you look at Apple's manual for the iphone, it talks about not having the cell phone too close to your body for long periods of time. Clearly there is a SAR rating for a reason, so hearing that the watch is Bluetooth and WIFI only is comforting.

I've read up on studies that look at the effects of EM radiation on biological systems, not just regarding cancer or tumors, but how it effects hormones and tissue in the body. The FCC states that certain parts of the body, such as eyes and testes, are particularly vulnerable (insert joke about wearing the watch on your penis here). But most intensive research done, like the one by WHO in 1996, was either inconclusive or said "more research needs to be done". (Starts on Page 6 : http://transition.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Engineering_Technology/Documents/bulletins/oet56/oet56e4.pdf)

I'm just worried that 10 to 20 years from now scientists will discover why this was bad, just like we're discovering now about the crap we're putting into our food.

Don't get me wrong, I used the Fitbit more several months and I'm still leaning towards getting the Apple Watch. Just wish some die hard evidence would finally ease the concerns I have.
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
A big part of the concern I have is due to the proximity and length of time this device is on your body. If you look at Apple's manual for the iphone, it talks about not having the cell phone too close to your body for long periods of time. Clearly there is a SAR rating for a reason, so hearing that the watch is Bluetooth and WIFI only is comforting.
The SAR rating is about thermal absorption of energy.

Basically, radio frequencies heat up nearby moist tissue, pretty much like a microwave oven does.

That's why they warn you about having a phone too close to your brain (unless a thick adult skull is in the way), or testicles.

It's not the kind of radiation that warps DNA or causes ionizing radiation tumors. It's thermal radiation:


spectrum.PNG
 
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PinkyMacGodess

macrumors 601
Mar 7, 2007
4,719
1,493
Midwest America.
I read part of an article that said that the 'jury is still out' on whether cell phones do cause cancer and other issues on the human body. It ominously said that we should have a definitive answer in the next few decades as our children are the real guinea pigs as they will be the first generation with a cell phone almost literally joined at the hip from the time they are able to carry one.

It was an epidemiological journal, and that statement was before the article disappeared behind a damned pay-wall, but it got me thinking about it.

What happens to our way of life if it is found that carrying something like that so close to the body DOES cause mutations and worse.

Will it be this new generation's 'clean coal'? Will it be like prostate cancer where every man that lives long enough will get it. Will the 'NAS/black shakes' of Johnny Mnemonic be that far behind.

I'm not trying to be an alarmist, however it is sobering when you read articles like that and then consider how much people are strapping to their bodies...

We are bathed in EM radiation at levels unheard of even a decade ago and it comes from more places than ever too, and is increasing.
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,267
4,217
Atlanta
...I'm not trying to be an alarmist....
...but you are. :D Radio waves don't directly cause mutations since it is not ionizing. It can and does add extra heat to cells that absorb the energy. This extra heat may or can cause DNA damage. Just walking out into the sun bathes you in many multiples of radiation than all your WiFi's, iPhone's and iPad's could ever began to emit. It is a proven fact that sunlight radiation can and does cause DNA mutation (since ultraviolet is ionizing) . So now what are you going to do?;)

Here is a better Spectrum pic.

 

PinkyMacGodess

macrumors 601
Mar 7, 2007
4,719
1,493
Midwest America.
...but you are. :D Radio waves don't directly cause mutations since it is not ionizing. It can and does add extra heat to cells that absorb the energy. This extra heat may or can cause DNA damage. Just walking out into the sun bathes you in many multiples of radiation than all your WiFi's, iPhone's and iPad's could ever began to emit. It is a proven fact that sunlight radiation can and does cause DNA mutation (since ultraviolet is ionizing) . So now what are you going to do?;)

Here is a better Spectrum pic.

Image
Whatever... I was stating the article's idea that it isn't set that phones and other devices that are near your body are 'totally safe'. And so, by your statement, the officers that put the radar guns in their laps 'cooked' their junk? I'd expect there to be pain if that kind of effect was going on while Deputy Don was asleep in his patrol car with the radar gun between his legs...

Exposure to ANY strong EM field can cause effects in the human body over time. That was the articles premise, and you confuse the forms of EM radiation. Being exposed to the blue flash of a criticallity incident doesn't 'cook you', it causes DNA breakdown. And the ultraviolet energy from the sun is nonionizing, and yet it causes cancers.

Who knows what the answer is. One thing is, the cell phone industry is using research conducted decades ago to 'prove' that cell phones are 'safe', and today's scientists are saying 'Whoa there big fella, that 'study' doesn't prove as much as you think, it's dated, and the methodology is flawed'. The only good thing is that a cell phone isn't likely to kill you outright like a bullet, and cell phones have gotten a lot better at the signal strengths they use.

It would be ironic to find the 'fountain of youth' and find out that cell phone usage cuts that life expectancy very short...

Will I stop using my cell phone? No, but am I concerned when I see parents giving their phones to their toddlers to play with continuously? Well... The jury is still out...
 
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