The Apple Watch 6 could be capable of detecting heightened stress levels and panic attacks, rounding out the watch's well-being features to include mental health.
According to leaker Max Weinbach and YouTube channel EverythingApplePro (opens in new tab), Apple is working on making its future wearables better at spotting the early signs of stress or panic, using built-in sensors.
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While being notified that you're on the verge of a panic attack might amplify your anxiety, the information could help some people prevent their stress from swelling in advance. Essentially, becoming a more proactive version of the Apple Watch's "breathe" notification that looks to center you.
In the collaborative video, Weinbach and EverythingApplePro say the stress detectors will only be available to users with an Apple Watch 4 or newer, meaning the ECG could be key to the new features.
The Apple Watch was already useful for guiding breathing and insight on heart rate, but the latest Apple Watch 6 rumor suggests the company is serious about its efforts to incorporate more mental health tools for users.
EverythingApplePro also says the Apple Watch 6 will introduce sleep monitoring. It's expected to have a better battery life, letting users wear it overnight rather than charge it. This was a rumor for the Apple Watch 5, too.
In other words, there's no guarantee these features will materialize when the Apple Watch 6 debuts alongside the iPhone 12 in the fall. But with a watchOS 7 progress update expected sometime around WWDC 2020 in June (which is now online), we could see what's on the horizon for Apple Watch health initiatives.