The Apple Watch 6 could have a lot more than just the sleep tracking added in watchOS 7. A slew of other new possible features have been detailed in a recently published patent.
Of these new features, which were revealed in a post published by Patently Apple (opens in new tab), the most surprising is Touch ID biometric security. As an Apple Watch Series 5 owner myself, I don't see the entire need for a security check, but pressing my thumb on the Apple Watch screen would be easier than entering my 6-digit passcode to unlock it. Then again, that's rarely required as unlocking the iPhone unlocks the Apple Watch.
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That being said, the Apple Watch is the home for a lot of personal and sensitive information, so added security for your privacy is always going to be a plus.
There's also a limb detection feature in the patents, which would allow the Apple Watch to identify if it's on your left or right wrist. This could be used for app optimization, and a number of other tricks that Apple could have up its sleeve.
The same technology that would be used to identify which wrist the Apple Watch is on may also be used for "understanding gestures via special algorithms."
Apple Watch 6 to get blood oxygen monitoring?
The biggest health feature in the patent, blood oxygen monitoring, has been expected for the Apple Watch 6 for quite some time (as it's been in other smart watches). Also known as SpO2 monitoring, this tracks the oxygen saturation of your blood.
It's important because if that reading of your blood oxygen drops too low, you might be in danger. This can happen mid-exercise, and a warning about it's occurrence could prevent you from injuring yourself accidentally by telling you to slow down on your workout.