Apple Invites Retail Employees in Wheelchairs to Test watchOS 3

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple last week sent out a memo to employees, inviting those in wheelchairs to help the company test an upcoming watchOS 3 feature that adds a dedicated wheelchair mode to the Apple Watch.

    With the wheelchair setting, Activity options can be customized for wheelchair users. Wheelchair pushes contribute to all-day calorie goals, there are wheelchair-specific workouts, and the "time to stand" reminders are replaced with "time to roll" reminders.

    During the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, Apple said wheelchair tracking had been in development for months through a partnership with the Lakeshore Foundation and the Challenged Athletes Foundation, which saw 300 people in wheelchairs participating in more than 3,000 hours of activity research, and the beta testing period will give Apple more time to refine and perfect the feature.


    In its memo to employees, Apple said it is committed to improving the Apple Watch experience for users in wheelchairs, which is why retail employees in wheelchairs are being invited to test watchOS 3. While retail employees have been invited to test iOS and macOS betas in the past, watchOS 3 betas are restricted to developers and internal corporate testers because downgrading from a watchOS beta is not possible without a proprietary adapter.

    It is not clear if employees testing the feature are receiving the same watchOS 3 beta updates as developers, but it seems likely. With the retail beta test and developer testing, Apple is hoping to collect more data on movement and better optimize the new wheelchair exercises available in the workout app.

    Apple offers some of the best accessibility features available in smartphones, smart watches, and other devices, and along with wheelchair activity tracking, the company's latest operating system updates bring a range of accessibility improvements to iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.

    Article Link: Apple Invites Retail Employees in Wheelchairs to Test watchOS 3
  2. pat500000 macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2015
    What would be cool for handicapped people is making reserve time to park at their public handicapped parking spot.

    "Siri, make me a reservation for handicapped parking spot at this time"
    And the spot will be reserved only for that person.
  3. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    The wheelchair features of the Apple Watch are a great idea. Well done apple
  4. iJandro macrumors regular


    Oct 13, 2010
    San Francisco, CA
    Definitely one of those "why didn't I think of that?!" kind of ideas :p

  5. Zirel, Jun 28, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016

    Zirel Suspended


    Jul 24, 2015
  6. foxkoneko macrumors 6502

    Sep 5, 2011
  7. deany macrumors 68030


    Sep 16, 2012
    North Wales
    I never thought how the 10 min to the hour 'stand up' might offend someone in a wheel chair.

    Very impressed with apple for improving the watch for wheel chair users.
  8. jclo Editor


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2012
    This is good stuff. As far as I know, Apple is the only company doing wheelchair fitness tracking now. It always amazes me how much attention Apple pays to accessibility features.
  9. The White Knigh macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2013
    I want "Time to roll" too! Imagine rolling around the floor at work hahah XD
  10. ksnell macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2012
    Pretty sure the dub dub presentation said it would change to "Time to roll!" for wheelchair users.
  11. amycishere macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2007

    Me and my wheels would have loved to have been part of this beta! Still waiting to hear about the next step in my Apple retail journey...(in the interviewing process)
  12. mrgraff macrumors 6502a


    Apr 18, 2010
    They did. And the picture here does too. In this rotated and zoomed crop, you can see the word "ROLL"
  13. blacktape242 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2010
    Sacramento, CA

    HA I find some humor in it, but i love dark humor

    however I do see the sadness in it as well for people who are wheelchair bound.
  14. drumcat macrumors 6502a


    Feb 28, 2008
    Otautahi, Aotearoa
    Apple's unwavering commitment to Accessibility is a truly amazing, and very under-appreciated approach. As a regular user, I absolutely appreciate it. The work they do in this area trickles into usability improvements for everyone.
  15. applesith macrumors 68030


    Jun 11, 2007
    I really love how Apple made a new set of features/updates specific to those in wheelchairs. As a family member of someone in a wheelchair, I've seen first hand how these individuals really get the short stick in life in terms of accessibility in general.
  16. brinary001 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 4, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    Same! When people don't understand why I love Apple so much, I always say that it's not just because they make the best products (for the most part anyway) it's because no other company will invest nearly as much time and money into things like helping those with disabilities, protecting your privacy, or helping the environment.
  17. PR1985 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2016
    Offend? No! But funny in a way, nearly every day I wear my watch I´m able to reach the goal.:D
  18. ADHWGT macrumors newbie

    Jun 29, 2016
    Let's see how long it takes before someone makes this about Tim Cooks's Apple "dropping the ball" by wasting valuable resources on wheelchair users instead of giving us a new Mac Pro.
  19. JeffyTheQuik macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2014
    Charleston, SC and Everett, WA
    Good on Apple!

    It's kind of funny... In the insulin pumper's group I belong to, there are people that complain that Dexcom only talks to Apple products. It's easy to figure out. They have a very vertical product line, plus the whole "90% of Apple devices use the latest software" thing is what's important to a developer.

    Nothing like being in the room where the release is about to fire:
    Feature 1: Go
    Feature 2: Go for version 10, 12, 13, but on versions 11 and 14, it's unsupported.
    Feature 3: Go for version 11, 12, 14, but on versions 10 and 13, it's unsupported.
  20. Diaz72 macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2012
    Ah it makes me wish I still worked for Apple! I'm dying to get WatchOS3 so that I can finally have some accurate activity tracking. I was so excited when I saw that they were keeping me and my people in mind with the Apple Watch. I can't wait to get my hands on it in the fall... then maybe I can get a few pounds off of this big gimpy body of mine!

    Yeah the Apple Watch has shown me standing for the first time in 11 years! It feels so good to stand... ;)
    --- Post Merged, Jun 29, 2016 ---
    I am really hoping that they have a hand cycle workout as one of the new workouts. Then it would be positively perfect!
  21. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Dec 20, 2013
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    not everyone who uses a wheelchair cant stand, it may simply be difficult for them. perhaps they are recovering from a car wreck or major surgery, or they are succumbing to disease or age but still have limited ability. either way the wheelchair is a tool to help them do what is currently difficult or painful for them (get around). if they still have some function left to their legs, it should be exercised or will be lost for sure. this feature serves as a heplful reminder.

    if they are truly paralyzed or have lost their legs, then they wont set that feature.

    I myself do not currently require this or many of the other accessibility features that Apple does so well. but they are definitely part of why I am a big fan of Apple.
  22. AirunJae macrumors regular


    Apr 14, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    Even though I don't personally need the accessibility features, I think it's great the Apple takes the time and effort to make their products more easily usable for all. Just like a great classroom teacher, when you make accommodations for students with certain struggles, everyone benefits!

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