Disappointing How Advanced the Backside Looks... for the Sole Purpose of Pulse

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by MICHAELSD, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

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    #1
    The backside of the Apple Watch seems so advanced that hearing Jony Ive discuss how it was designed for pulse readings seems plain disappointing and frankly lame. A serviceable pulse sensor doesn't need to be anywhere near as complex or elegant. It seems like there is so much more to the backside sensors that the fact that it has a single sole purpose is a ridiculous way to over-complicate a simple, non-centric task.

    [​IMG]

    Hopefully there are unforeseen uses that developers will surprise us with...
     
  2. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    #2
    The back is also the charging port, plus the taptic engine.
     
  3. BvizioN macrumors 68040

    BvizioN

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    #3
    If this device is to be upgradable (as rumored) then it make sense to place more sensors, so they are ready for the next upgrade.
     
  4. Asthmatic Kitty macrumors member

    Asthmatic Kitty

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    #4
    Are you basing that on comparisons to the optical heart-rate monitors currently on the market, like in the basis peak, microsoft band, fitbit surge etc.? i.e. ones that almost unanimously suck?

    Hopefully Apple will be the first to put in a heart-rate monitor that doesn't get wildly inconsistent at higher BPMs. In Mark Gurman's Resolve episode he said something along the lines of it being state of the art, and it being unprecedented how much science has gone into it.
     
  5. rossy100 macrumors regular

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    #5
    I think there may well be some as yet unannounced watch features - which may include additional sensor technology. All will become clear in next few weeks!
     
  6. Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #6
    According to Mark Gurman these sensors are supposedly more accurate than what's currently on the market. He calls it "unprecedented" how much work they put into it. And he also says Apple has a whole team, that includes a lot of doctors, dedicated to sensors. So I'm sure heart rate is just the beginning (Tim Cook seemed to hint at that in his Charlie Rose interview when he said "we're starting with the heart"). If the differentiating factor between Watch and other devices is more accurate sensors I see that as a good thing and something that can justify paying a premium and will likely drive more sales.
     
  7. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #7
    Analogy: Samsung has a slimmer and more compact fingerprint reader. However the iPhone's is far superior. Current optical HR monitoring sensors is spotty at best, especially when exercising. Lets hope Apple has cracked this.
     
  8. Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #8
    I get this feeling Apple's mantra when it comes to sensors is don't add it unless it works really well. So start with heart rate sensor and make sure you nail that. And then move on to the next one. Also because this device supports Pay Apple needs to make sure authentication is spot on.
     
  9. MeFromHere macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Do you have ANY evidence to support this statement? Can you point out one or more heart-rate sensors that work well, don't involve a chest strap, and are significantly simpler than Apple's?

    Conventional wisdom/gossip is that existing optical heart rate sensors are not very accurate. Maybe Apple's sensor arrangement lets them overcome the problems and get good accuracy.
     
  10. bbeagle macrumors 68040

    bbeagle

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    #10
    I believe this too. Apple will have another keynote and introduce new features that they didn't before. Things they wanted to keep secret as to not let competitors know until the last minute.
     
  11. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #11
    So you'd rather that it be boring/ugly looking like below?

    [​IMG]
     
  12. TheDeviceUser macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    I really wouldn't be surprised if the final version has Touch ID built into the digital crown, not for Apple Pay, but for those who want to use it for unlocking the device.
     
  13. NovemberWhiskey macrumors 68030

    NovemberWhiskey

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    #13
    It's pretty obvious Apple planned much more for the sensors/biometric reading features, but missed the boat due to time constraints. If you read about the early features planned for the watch (blood-glucose, etc.) the sensors would make sense.

    Anyone in engineering can tell you that sometimes deadlines can axe planned features.

    Apple will probably introduce more options in the next version of the Apple watch.
     
  14. JoEw macrumors 65816

    JoEw

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  15. The Doctor11 macrumors 603

    The Doctor11

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    #15
    Yeah. Bitch about a part of the Apple Watch you'll only see for half a second when charging it.
     
  16. telefono macrumors 6502

    telefono

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    #16

    I don't get this topic either, the more advanced it is the better and if it looks great, better still
     
  17. MICHAELSD thread starter macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

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    #17

    I think the point got lost. It's not that the physical look of the backside is disappointing (to the contrary): it's that it looks like it does so much more than it actually does. Multiple sensors all for the purpose of pulse readings seems a bit gratuitous. Seeing such a seemingly-advanced array of sensors then realizing it is all for one purpose that is barely of interest (at least to myself) is definitely a spot of disappointment.
     
  18. AceFernalld macrumors 65816

    AceFernalld

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    #18
    What else do you suggest it should do?
     
  19. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #19
    I would put this slightly below a 0.000001% chance. The surface area is far to small to gather enough data points to work.


    HR is BY far the most important metric in general health and fitness monitoring. What health/fitness metric could you possibly be MORE interested in than your HR (BP or glucose)? HR always comes first, because without it no other metric has any importance.

    Obviously you have not used other HR monitoring devices. Even chest straps can have their problems and optical is just horrible at this point. Like I and other have said if it actually works under adverse conditions then it will be a first and a GIGANTIC step in health/fitness monitoring.
     
  20. Piggie macrumors 604

    Piggie

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    #20
    Going to be really interesting how well this can monitor your heart rate for those many people who like a watch to feel loose on their wrist so it can move around a bit, just not loose enough that it can spin round.

    Apple has not even hinted at how tight the strap will have to be to actually give any valid monitoring info.
     
  21. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    #21
    People wore their watches loose because tightening it served no purpose. If people want HR monitoring, and they need to wear the watch tight to get it, they'll tighten that strap and get used to it.
     
  22. Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #22
    Once again someone looking for an issue that doesn't exist.
     
  23. Andy0568 macrumors regular

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    Sep 4, 2010
    #23
    I wasted $250 on the fit bit surge which is painfully inaccurate...I'm really hopeful the Apple watch's pulse sensor is more precise
     
  24. Piggie macrumors 604

    Piggie

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    #24
    Sorry, I don't understand you being dismissive of this potentially important point

    And I feel you are totally and utterly wrong.

    I explained before, and others agreed and felt the same, that I have never liked to have a watch tight on my wrist. Even as a child.

    I don't means it's stupidly loose, just that it's not tight, so it has some movement on your wrist.

    If you can visualise, it's held in such a way that if I lift my arm up, or lower my arm down it will slip up and down a little on my wrist, and you could hold the body of the watch and rotate it a bit around your wrist, but it's not quite loose enough so you could spin it right around.

    That's how I always have worn watches.
    In the hot weather, especially, for me, it would be horrid to feel something tight, and I like that I can lift/lower/shake my wrist and the body of the watch will move around a bit.

    So, I don't agree, I'm just in you words:
    "looking for an issue that doesn't exist"

    I think it is a 100% valid query to wonder how the Apple watch will work regarding it's monitoring and any skin contact functions with the people who wear their watches on the loose side as I always have done.

    No point in dismissing it as unimportant as it may be the difference between it working or not
     
  25. Exile714 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 14, 2015
    #25
    From a technology standpoint, sometimes we have to accept some limitations in order for new features to work. People believe this 'Apple myth' that says they basically practice magic to make anything happen, physics be damned. Fact of the matter is, even in something as advanced as Apple Watch there are limitations and one may very well be that it needs to be worn tight.

    On the other hand, heart rate trackers these days are incredibly inaccurate when you're moving because the single sensor registers slight movements as heart beats (or the software ignores the data but ends up registering a lower heartbeat). Wrist work trackers these days are just bad. Hopefully Apple's complicated-looking sensor fixes this issue. That may be good news for people who like loose watches, as some wiggle might be filtered out, but probably not.

    Either way, acting like 1) Apple could have put more functionality into the sensor based on its appearance or 2) they should have made a watch which can be worn loose, is ignoring the fact that Apple isn't magic. The wrist-worn heart rate sensor is not an easy engineering achievement, and many here seem to underestimate the difficulty. Many fast-to-market smart watches certainly did, and look how those sensors perform.

    (But if Apple COULD have made a watch which can be worn loose, they SHOULD have. That is the best way to wear a watch.)

    Final note: there's a lot of usefulness in an accurate, always-worn heart rate monitor that many are missing. I'll give you one: knowing in advance when you'll be sick. I learned in the military (Air Force) that taking your heart rate every morning when you wake up is valuable. When my heart rate is higher than normal, I know something's off. If I can't attribute it to other factors, I know that means I have 24 hours until I start feeling sickness symptoms. In that time, it I might be getting a cold, I can take zinc to limit the symptoms.
     

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