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'Good Morning America' Goes Inside Apple's Secret Apple Watch Fitness Testing Lab

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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ABC News this morning revealed an exclusive behind-the-scenes video of Apple's testing facility for the upcoming Apple Watch, showing off dozens of Apple employees covered in various sensor-tracking technology used to gather data for the health and fitness areas of the wearable device. Apple executives Jeff Williams and Jay Blahnik accompanied ABC on a tour of the facility.

Employees of the company, from engineers to managers and developers, have volunteered to participate in the tests for nearly two years, not knowing of the reason behind the facility until recently. Wearing masks that measure changes in breathing and other various statistics, the volunteers were put through various workout regimens including rowing, yoga, and running, in order to collect data for the Watch.

"[The employees] knew they were testing something, but they didn't know it was for the Apple Watch," said Jeff Williams, Apple's senior vice president of operations. "We hooked them up with all the masks and so forth, but we would put on an Apple Watch covered up."
The lab even included "climate chambers", which allowed Apple to simulate varying environments, from hot to cold, without having to physically leave Apple headquarters for testing. The company did so anyway, visiting drastically different locations around the globe to put the Watch through the most strenuous environment testing they could.
"We have traveled to Alaska and gone to Dubai to really test Apple Watch in all those environments, but we also wanted to be able to have a controlled environment here where we could see those extremes," said Jay Blahnik, Director of Fitness and Health technologies at Apple.

"I think we've amassed already what may be one of the world's largest pieces of data on fitness," he said. "Our view is, we're just beginning. We think there's a lot to this fitness thing...the impact on health could be profound."
Dr. Michael McConnell, a professor in cardiovascular medicine at Stanford Medicine, told ABC News the Apple Watch has great potential to drastically change the cardiovascular technology field. He points to the ease-of-use in Apple's product to take measurements and surveys, thanks to the help of Apple's new medical-focused ResearchKit as well as HealthKit, which would offer them "a new way to do medical research."

The pre-launch buzz surrounding the Apple Watch only continues to grow as the April 10 pre-order date, and official launch on April 24, draw closer. Most recently the wearable has been spotted in numerous fitness and fashion magazines, with third-party manufacturers announcing everything from charging stands to carrying cases to secondary battery options for the wrist-worn device.

The segment, which premiered earlier this morning on Good Morning America, is a small preview for a larger piece airing tonight on Nightline at 12:35 AM EST.

Article Link: 'Good Morning America' Goes Inside Apple's Secret Apple Watch Fitness Testing Lab
 

d0minick

macrumors 6502
Mar 8, 2011
304
503
I am a workout freak. gym at 4am. jog at 4PM, 6 days a week.

I've yet to see any interesting fitness apps for it. when they do appear, consider me sold.


added responses
You must have a dream body...

HAHA dream.. no... but it is real. Its not difficult to get abs and a nice bod. Workout 45 minutes. Jog 30 minutes. Low carbs, no sugar, a few protein shakes with water... BOOM fitness body. Exercise is roughly 7-1/2% of my day.

Do you have a favorite from the iPhone? Guaranteed it will be there soon.

Runkeeper is numero uno for the jogging
I've tried a few log keepers but the notepad app seems to be the best for me.
I've tried a few calorie counters, but now i've done it for so long, i just know my macros.
I'm excited for the heartbeat, i'd love some orange theory type app that uses the heartbeat for cardio.


well that should be a good test to its battery life
I am by power all work day, but yes, it will be interesting to see if I have to charge it by noon.

I am a freak. Gym never. Jog never, zero days a week.
Can't wait for my watch.
LOL, to each their own. I just grew up in an oddly, extremely active household. My day is really off if i don't exercise.
 
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ryansimmons323

macrumors regular
Oct 5, 2011
230
83
United Kingdom
Why does broadcast news/breakfast/daytime television get things so factually incorrect?

They basically rolled Apple Watch, HealthKit and ResearchKit into one thing here.
 
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FrankySavvy

macrumors 65816
Mar 4, 2010
1,412
449
Long Island, NY
I am a workout freak. gym at 4am. jog at 4PM, 6 days a week.

I've yet to see any interesting fitness apps for it. when they do appear, me sold.

Do you have a favorite from the iPhone? Guaranteed it will be there soon.

I am hoping "Runkeeper" makes it way to the Watch quick, I use that all the time on my iPhone :)
 
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newdeal

macrumors 68020
Oct 21, 2009
2,388
1,506
I am a workout freak. gym at 4am. jog at 4PM, 6 days a week.

I've yet to see any interesting fitness apps for it. when they do appear, me sold.

well that should be a good test to its battery life
 
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greytmom

macrumors 68040
Jun 23, 2010
3,443
630
Why does broadcast news/breakfast/daytime television get things so factually incorrect?

They basically rolled Apple Watch, HealthKit and ResearchKit into one thing here.

Sounds to me like they are expecting amazing things for all three - working in conjunction with each other.
 
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samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
16,637
41,610
USA
Dr. Michael McConnell, a professor in cardiovascular medicine at Stanford Medicine, told ABC News the Apple Watch has great potential to drastically change the cardiovascular technology field. He points to the ease-of-use in Apple's product to take measurements and surveys, thanks to the help of Apple's new medical-focused ResearchKit as well as HealthKit, which would offer them "a new way to do medical research."

I don't blame this guy - but clearly it's great PR for anyone to get associated with Apple marketing engine and looked upon as an expert.

However, I am not convinced that the Apple watch really does anything more than other equipment that exists and/or that can be more accurate. Perhaps I am wrong. I just don't see it right now.
 
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DeathChill

macrumors 68000
Jul 15, 2005
1,662
90
I don't blame this guy - but clearly it's great PR for anyone to get associated with Apple marketing engine and looked upon as an expert.

However, I am not convinced that the Apple watch really does anything more than other equipment that exists and/or that can be more accurate. Perhaps I am wrong. I just don't see it right now.

I somewhat agree with what you're saying (the watch doesn't do anything all that differently) but I think what makes it special is that it's all connected so it's not a one-off watch collecting data that goes nowhere.
 
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RickInHouston

macrumors 65816
May 14, 2014
1,452
2,188
Garmin has been around for years. You see marathoners start there Gamin at the beginning of every race.

And apple has amassed more data than anyone. They are amazing!
 
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carrrrrlos

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2010
681
1,022
PNW
Apple sure is spending quite a bit of PR resources for this watch. I cannot recall any other Apple product that has garnered this much *intentional* attention prior to launching.
 
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TMay

macrumors 68000
Dec 24, 2001
1,520
1
Carson City, NV
I don't blame this guy - but clearly it's great PR for anyone to get associated with Apple marketing engine and looked upon as an expert.

However, I am not convinced that the Apple watch really does anything more than other equipment that exists and/or that can be more accurate. Perhaps I am wrong. I just don't see it right now.

Apple is known for "due diligence" when it comes to product development. I would be hard pressed to imagine any of its competitors being so involved, and that includes Google. Sure there is other equipment out there that does some or more than what the the Apple Watch does, and even at a higher level of accuracy, but as a singular and personal device, the Apple Watch will probably be the benchmark for consumers.
 
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Sodner

macrumors 68020
Jan 12, 2011
2,088
44
Pittsburgh, PA
Anyone who thinks the other smart watches out there like the Pebble are on the same level as the :apple:Watch is sorely mistaken.
 
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bbeagle

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2010
3,419
2,683
Buffalo, NY
However, I am not convinced that the Apple watch really does anything more than other equipment that exists and/or that can be more accurate. Perhaps I am wrong. I just don't see it right now.

The Apple Watch doesn't have to do more to be a success - the Apple Watch is just another way to do the same thing other equipment does, but making it more convenient.

For example, running with music - it's MUCH more convenient to use wireless earbuds and wear a watch than lugging an iPhone on your arm or in your pocket.

Looking at statistics during your run - much more convenient on a watch vs. pulling out a phone (which is difficult when running), or using a FitBit-type device where you can't see stats until you're connected to a computer when you're done.

It's up to the consumer if $350-$1000 is worth this convenience. There are many more.
 
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freediverx

macrumors 6502a
Feb 19, 2006
985
945
Why does broadcast news/breakfast/daytime television get things so factually incorrect?

They basically rolled Apple Watch, HealthKit and ResearchKit into one thing here.

I cringe listening to "Entertainment Tonight"-type talking heads in general, let alone when covering tech products and issues. Frankly, most of what's worth watching on television is on HBO and PBS. The rest is 99% garbage.
 
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Drag'nGT

macrumors 68000
Sep 20, 2008
1,753
28
Honestly this has me and my fiancé sold on getting these. We have used all the current trackers and have seen the issues with them. We want HR monitors to add to our monitoring and that's just spending more $.

My big issue is that this is an upgrade able item... And the Apple Watch 2 will fix all the rings that we are going to miss on this version. Primarily the water proofing, GPS and battery life.

Go out on a run without your iPhone, and the Watch will continue tracking your fitness — that includes your heartbeat, step counts, stairs climbed, and stand-sit ratio.

All that information is stored locally while you're away from your iPhone, and will be synced with the Health app as soon as you're within pairing range. You won't be able to track distance or specific routes, however, as the Watch has no GPS receiver.
 
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Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
Apple sure is spending quite a bit of PR resources for this watch. I cannot recall any other Apple product that has garnered this much *intentional* attention prior to launching.

Intentional? Do you think PR is ever accidental. Apple has always pushed it's products. It's up to media organizations to make the decision whether to cover them and to what depth. Clearly they are intrigued by the story on many levels. And also Apple products in 2015 get eyeballs in an era where not much does, so of course the media is all over this.
 
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GLS

macrumors 6502
Jun 26, 2010
374
138
Anxiously awaiting the Tag Heuer promotional videos where they proclaim how much fitness testing their watches endured.

We all know, however, that Samsung will shove a video on Youtube any day now that shows some disinterested folks using their newest wearable in a fitness type setting
 
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bbeagle

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2010
3,419
2,683
Buffalo, NY
Yet a no time did they think to include GPS in the watch or make it waterproof, i.e. make it a useful sports watch that you can use away from your iPhone. Ah...

And nobody else makes a smart watch that has both GPS and is waterproof either.

It's really not as important as you think. I don't care a lick for GPS. Waterproof would be nice, but I've been wearing watches for the past 20 years that haven't been waterproof - it's normal to me.
 
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HenryDJP

Suspended
Nov 25, 2012
5,084
843
United States
Anxiously awaiting the Tag Heuer promotional videos where they proclaim how much fitness testing their watches endured.

We all know, however, that Samsung will shove a video on Youtube any day now that shows some disinterested folks using their newest wearable in a fitness type setting

I wouldn't even be surprised if Samsung launches their usual Apple smear campaign upon the AppleWatch release day.
 
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