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Original Apple Watch Health Features Were Dropped Due to Consistency Issues

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Before Apple unveiled the Apple Watch last September, reports indicated the device would come with 10 sensors to track health and fitness data, leading some healthcare professionals to find the unveiled Apple Watch's health features disappointing. In a new report, The Wall Street Journal offers a look at the original Apple Watch health features that were dropped due to consistency problems.

Apple began developing the watch about four years ago, with a focus on health and fitness. It's not unusual for Apple to experiment with many technologies or shift focus during product development, but the watch was especially challenging, people familiar with the matter said. Internally, the project became known as a "black hole" sucking in resources, one of these people said.
The Apple Watch originally featured sensors that measured the conductivity of skin, allowing the device to detect stress levels and heart-rate monitoring similar to an electrocardiogram, also known as an EKG. Apple also experimented with ways to detect blood pressure or how much oxygen is in a user's blood. However, a mix of consistency problems and potential oversight caused Apple to switch the focus of the device from health-related to a more general do-everything product.

The skin conductivity features didn't perform well with people who had hairy arms or dry skin, while results varied depending on how tight an Apple Watch was worn on users' wrists. Additionally, if Apple decided to use the health data to provide "health or behavioral advice", the Cupertino company would have to seek approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other regulators.

While these features were dropped for the first version of the Apple Watch, sources tell the WSJ that they could appear in future versions of the device, echoing a Reuters report from September.

Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company's objective with Apple Watch is to "change the way people live their lives" and that people would be surprised by the breadth of what the device can do, which includes activity monitoring, reminding users to stand up after a certain time period, and non-verbal communication with friends. Apple is currently asking developers to have their Apple Watch apps ready by mid-February, with some developers traveling to Apple's Cupertino headquarters for help.

Cook has confirmed the Apple Watch will launch in April. The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple will make five to six million units for the first quarter, with half of those units being the entry Apple Watch Sport and one-third being the mid-tier stainless-steel Apple Watch.

Article Link: Original Apple Watch Health Features Were Dropped Due to Consistency Issues
 

Natzoo

macrumors 68000
Sep 16, 2014
1,631
369
So im guessing the second ten will have it? Will get the watch still
 
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zaneliu94

macrumors regular
Jul 29, 2012
183
1
Bay Area
What a bummer. Health tracking was my #1 reason for getting an Apple Watch.

Me too. I'm so torn still on whether I want to wait. Though, judging by how the accurate issue is of concern and the FDA issue, it could be more than a couple years before they actually get added in 1st gen or not.
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,235
27,931
Pretty clear to see Apple has big ambitions here. But I'm glad they dropped stuff that wasn't up to snuff rather than just adding sensors for the sake of it whether they were very accurate or not.
 
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JeffyTheQuik

macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2014
2,468
2,404
Charleston, SC and Everett, WA
The Apple Watch originally featured censors that measured the conductivity of skin, allowing the device to detect stress levels and heart-rate monitoring similar to an electrocardiogram, also known as an EKG. Apple also experimented with ways to detect blood pressure or how much oxygen is in a user's blood. However, a mix of consistency problems and potential oversight caused Apple to switch the focus of the device from health-related to a more general do-everything product.

Having worn a Continuous Glucose Monitor for the last 6 years, developing these kinds of general health monitoring devices is not the easiest thing to do. Humans come in all shapes, sizes, skin consistencies, wanting of wearing things tightly, etc.

Plus, with the CGM, taking Tylenol messes up the readings. Try solving that factorial problem of variables of the human existence.
 
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Macman1993

macrumors 6502
Nov 23, 2007
337
16
I've never been huge on the Apple Watch, it has always seemed like Apple is just trying to enter a market because others are doing so. During their demos they touted things like sending emoticons and basic things like a strap to keep the band flush to the wrist.

Apple doesn't seem to understand this product themselves, the fact that it is described internally as a black hole is not a good sign.

I think this will be apples first major product to be a flop in a long time.
 
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RiddlaBronc

macrumors 6502a
Oct 14, 2013
830
546
Mcallen Tx
so what will happened to the nike fuel band? Will it make a comeback since the watch has failed in the health department?
 
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lotzosushi

macrumors 6502
Jan 10, 2007
415
375
Good. I rather wait for something that works all the time rather than just sometimes. Unlike the companies that shall not be named that throw every half baked feature into one device just to say FIRST... only never to be used at all.

I've never been huge on the Apple Watch, it has always seemed like Apple is just trying to enter a market because others are doing so.

I thought Apple was the original one 'rumored' for the longest time to be working on a smartwatch? When everyone else caught wind they clamored to rush and make their own. Apple didn't JUST think of this recently because everyone else is. Look at how many Galaxy and Sony smartwatches they've tried throwing out already yet none of them really stick. I really do love my Moto 360 though :)
 
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JoEw

macrumors 68000
Nov 29, 2009
1,525
881
so what will happened to the nike fuel band? Will it make a comeback since the watch has failed in the health department?

The rumor is apple hired the Nike fuelband team a couple years ago.

I know I'm waiting for gen2
 
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ricci

macrumors 6502
Aug 21, 2012
259
13
NYC
Pushing the envelope is what great companies do! RELEASING it before it's ready, now, that's what Samsung does!!!
 
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lowercaseperson

macrumors 6502
Oct 5, 2006
294
87
I'm not entirely sure those sensors were "dropped" because of "consistency issues." I'm a little more inclined to believe they were being tested to see if they could be made consistent. A litmus test per-say, to see how many years away the technology is from being consistent. Not to mention all the FDA red tape - releasing an FDA approved 10 sensor wearable gen1 device is pretty ambitious even for Apple.
 
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Tech198

macrumors P6
Mar 21, 2011
15,456
2,037
Australia, Perth
Isn't this what Apple wanted ?

Challenging, or otherwise..... You make it, you live with the consequences associated.

Similar to how the way "the iPhone changed out lives".. WHy does every thing Apple "thinks" up need to be a "change" issue, as they can only think "It will always be the way, because we can only think that"

Limited mind scope...

Start to think outside the box you live in..

Yes, the iPhone changed our live because everyone could see that... but come on... Its an accessory.... How on can anyone think that a piece of technology that must rely on something else, be a life changing idea ?

Unless you can do 4G on the watch, surf the internet all without the use of a phone ?

For me anyway, it will have to be just as big as the life changed as the iphone for me to even start believing that anything else could be from Apple..

Nice try.
 
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Che Castro

macrumors 603
May 21, 2009
5,746
556
I've never been huge on the Apple Watch, it has always seemed like Apple is just trying to enter a market because others are doing so. During their demos they touted things like sending emoticons and basic things like a strap to keep the band flush to the wrist.

Apple doesn't seem to understand this product themselves, the fact that it is described internally as a black hole is not a good sign.

I think this will be apples first major product to be a flop in a long time.
People will be quoting and laughing at you for years to come
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,235
27,931
Same. I can definitely wait on an Apple Watch now... it literally gives me almost no added benefit to the iPhone I already have as it stands now.

What exactly from this story were you expecting to be included the Watch being launched this spring?
 
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Teste

macrumors 6502
Jan 8, 2011
353
5
Nice to see a reminder of how everyone claiming the iWatch would measure glucose levels through the skin was wrong. This is basically an overpriced toy. Measuring glucose levels without using blood is something that will be developed by the scientists, not by the designers or toy makers.
 
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