Apple Watch 6 killer feature detailed in new leak

Apple Watch 6 killer feature detailed in new leak
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Apple Watch 6 will introduce several new mental health features, adding yet another edge to the wearable's advanced wellness capabilities. This we knew already, but now we have insight on how one of those killer Apple Watch 6 tools will work. 

Tech YouTuber and Apple leaker Jon Prosser discussed on a recent installment of the Geared Up podcast, hosted by Andru Edwards, how the upcoming wearable will be able to identify when users are stressed and detect panic attacks before they happen.

According to Prosser, the Apple Watch 6 will read "the oxygen levels in your blood with your heart rate" to recognize if you're hyperventilating, even if you haven't realized it yet.

Then the Apple Watch 6 could encourage you to begin breathing exercises with Apple's 'Breathe' tool.

Prosser's tip relies on the rumored existence of a blood oxygen (Sp02) monitor in the Apple Watch. Some of the best smartwatches already use Sp02 to give wearers insight on the quality of their breathing while asleep, but we've yet to see it used in a mental health capacity.

While being notified that you're on the verge of a panic attack might add to  your anxiety, the information could let people be proactive about calming it. At the very least, the warning would get them out of situations where a panic attack could put them in harms way, like while driving.

The Apple Watch already offers assistance in certain emergency situations, but the latest Apple Watch 6 rumor suggests the company is serious about its efforts to expand its mental health tools.

I'm sure many would benefit from mental health insights right now, given the uncertainties caused by the last few months of stay at home orders. Major changes may induce anxiety, while challenging situations can create stress. 

Hopefully we'll see these tools materialize when the Apple Watch 6 debuts alongside the iPhone 12 in September or October. Though with a watchOS 7 progress update expected during WWDC 2020 next month, we could get our best look yet at what's in the pipeline for Apple Watch health initiatives. 

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.