Apple Watch calibrates/learns to estimate running distance

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Julien, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #1
    Good news the :apple:Watch learns your stride length and calibrates itself while running with your iPhone. As most runners know (not sprinters) cadence is fairly consistent (about 180spm) while stride length determines your speed. By learning your stride/speed the :apple:Watch can better estimate your distance by calculating cadence.

    This info is revealed in Christy Burns blog post.
    http://www.apple.com/watch/christy-turlington-burns/

    It says:

    Also it shows how easy it is to change bands.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Patriot24 macrumors 68030

    Patriot24

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    #2
    More of this kind of information about Apple's innovations will become apparent over time. I knew when I saw the lab and heard them boasting about the number of hours of exercise data that they have that this isn't a weak effort. They have clearly dumped a ton of time and resources into getting it right.
     
  3. mdmt619 macrumors member

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    #3
    Very cool.

    Is it just me or did they do a terribly job photoshopping her thumbs?
     
  4. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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    #4
    What makes you think that's not an actual photo?
     

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  5. mdmt619 macrumors member

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    #5
    Look at mid-way down her thumb, where the creases magically disappear and the skin tone changes - leading up to her perfectly manicured nails.
     
  6. lunaoso macrumors 65816

    lunaoso

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    #6
    Seeing these pictures just made me even more excited for the SS watch. Apples promo shots for once don't really do it justice. The random shots of it just look incredible though.
     
  7. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    #7
    Many gps watches have had a small receiver that goes on your shoes that has been doing the same thing for many years now.
     
  8. extricated macrumors 6502

    extricated

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    #8
    Nice catch Julien!

    This is extrememly important to me because I was really bummed about the lack of GPS. Not because I like to see a map of where I run, but because I like the accuracy it provides in measuring distance/pace.

    I like the thought of being able to do a few known-distance long runs with the watch "learning" my stride. Would be convenient for those times when I don't care whether I have my phone with me (happens from time to time).
     
  9. Ries macrumors 68000

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    #9
    That's nothing new, lots of devices already does this... "apple innovation"
     
  10. Patriot24 macrumors 68030

    Patriot24

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    #10
    Interesting. Which ones? I've had a Nike FuelBand and a Fitbit - neither of them had any kind of learning capabilities that I was aware of. The algorithms seem to be set in place.
     
  11. Ries macrumors 68000

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    #11
    The Garmin FR15 will automatically calibrate the footpod via GPS.
     
  12. Mascots macrumors 65816

    Mascots

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    #12
    It's this kind of thinking that makes me excited and confident in Apple as a company and willing to bet on the  Watch's success.
     
  13. Patriot24 macrumors 68030

    Patriot24

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    #13
    Got it. I guess the lesson here is that the Apple Watch will be a step up for those of us that had more casual fitness trackers before. But, if you own specific running watches and such it may be a lateral or potentially a step back.

    Either way, it is good to see that they haven't overlooked these details.
     
  14. cmChimera macrumors 68040

    cmChimera

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    #14
    This is pretty awesome. Good find.
     
  15. Multiverse223 macrumors regular

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    #15
    If the Watch isn't a better fitness tracker in every feasible way (set aside lack of GPS), then there is a serious problem with reality. Apple has been testing it extensively, in their rigorous testing labs... No other company comes anywhere close to this. All other companies compared to that, are an absolute joke. It should be a factor of ten better than anything else available. Just based on the appearance of the back sensor alone, you can infer that they've spent far more time/money into the accuracy of that heart rate sensor. I can't wait to see the testing of it, in scientific third party labs.
     
  16. BD1 macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Good update on capabilities.

    But I would like to see more about Heart Rate tracking and reporting after a workout. I wonder if it is not being highlighted because of battery life concerns when the sensors are being used? Maybe Apple is just emphasizing the occasional HR check vs ongoing workout monitoring.
     
  17. Julien thread starter macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #17
    If HR is was not full monitoring during a workout it would be worthless. Apple also says it will be on during a workout.

     
  18. rcarter3636 macrumors member

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    #18
    Nice find.
    Christy mention she played tennis.
    I wonder if she set this exercise in the workout app or was followed in the activity app.
    I have noticed the workout app has "other" listed and wished someone would tap on that during demo:)
     
  19. technosix macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    It's quite a gamble to make the statements I see above without researching the companies that have been specialists in sports fitness monitoring on the global scene.

    I appreciate your dedication to Apple, but accuracy serves everyone best. It is trendy to love Apple, but be careful of the hype. They're masters...:)
     
  20. DreamPod macrumors 65816

    DreamPod

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    #20
    I dunno if I'd say that, I'm sure companies that only make dedicated fitness wearables have done just as much health research - I mean, that's their entire business, health devices. Also, don't forget that Apple researched a whole lot more than they put into the Apple Watch - they removed any sensor that would require government approval or was just too hard for them to get reliably perfect, for example. So a lot of that research didn't end up in the 1.0 watch.
     
  21. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #21
    Apple's only been playing with collecting some employee data for a relatively short time. Other fitness tracker makers have been collecting data for much longer.

    For example, Nike has had an R&D lab since 1980. They've collected magnitudes more information than Apple has, and they've put it to use creating products both to wear and to monitor the user.



    As for other makers, we really don't know what they've done.
     
  22. BD1 macrumors 6502

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    #22
    I would just like to see a HR graph and report showing HR results (e.g. average HR, max HR, etc.) from a workout. We have seen the 3 circles in the the activity app but not much if anything from the new Workout app.
     
  23. Julien thread starter macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #23
    A couple of things come to mind.

    1) Most labs test 1 (or a small number) of clients at a time (equipment limited). Apple has groups testing concurrently (at least in the PR video), has lots of test equipment (millions of dollars) available and has 18,000 hours amassed.

    2) Apple has close ties with Nike and has hired a lot of their fitness people like Jay Blahnik. It could be Apple has licensed or acquired some fitness data.
     
  24. matrix07 macrumors 68040

    matrix07

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    #24
    She tapped on it, using it for when she was doing Yoga.
     
  25. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

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    #25
    I've got an iPhone app that already can determine my cadence, stride, and speed but it uses GPS to assist. It matches what my GPS watch reports so not sure this is all that new. Now if the Watch can do this w/o the needing the iPhone for support THAT is new and advanced. I haven't come across a non-GPS activity band that is pinpoint accurate to say the least.

    Also I wouldn't define cadence as constant, even on a single run. One gets tired and bound to get sloppy which leads to slower cadence. I wouldn't say all runners achieve 180 either. Most are below that, more like in the low 170s. The goal is to achieve 180 or higher. Now stride is constant, or should be. You don't want to over stride or you'll get injured quick enough -- foot should not land in front of the knee with their heels but on their mid-foot under the knee. Stride is really determined by the length of your legs.
     

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