Update: A new Apple Watch 8 alleged render image hints that we won't be getting a big design change from Apple's next smartwatch.
A new rumor suggests that the Apple Watch 8 will feature sensors that can monitor and measure users’ blood glucose levels. The breakthrough technology would be a first for smartwatches.
According to a report from DigiTimes, Apple has begun working with its suppliers to create short-wavelength infrared sensors — not unlike those used in a variety of other notable health devices — that would be fitted to the back of an Apple Watch and monitor the amount of sugar in a users’ blood.
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Monitoring of blood glucose levels is immensely important for those with conditions such as diabetes and is typically an invasive procedure. It requires someone to poke themselves and acquire a drop of blood, which is then placed onto a disposable test strip that is connected to a blood sugar meter.
It makes sense, then, that other reports have indicated that Apple is struggling to perfect this game-changing feature. Replicating the same level of testing accuracy with non-invasive technology is apparently proving problematic, and this could explain why the company has reportedly delayed the functionality.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, perhaps Apple Watch’s most direct competition, was also expected to ship with blood glucose monitoring capabilities by using through-the-skin technology called Raman spectroscopy. However, the release came and went without further mention of the feature.
A future Apple Watch being able to monitor blood glucose levels wouldn’t be at all surprising, though, given Apple’s penchant for consistently adding new health features to its ecosystem. Among plenty of other things, the company’s current wrist gear is already capable of monitoring heart rate, measuring blood oxygen levels and even conducting an ECG.
Apple announced the Apple Watch 7 last month, showing off a more rounded design, new colors, and faster charging capabilities, but substantial delays have already crushed the hopes of many early adopters.
Meanwhile, Apple Watch 8 and its potential blood glucose level sensors aren’t expected to debut until 2022, so we’ll have to wait just a bit longer to see if this useful feature actually pans out.
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Billy Givens is a journalist with nearly two decades of experience in editing and writing across a wide variety of topics. He focuses particularly on games coverage for Tom's Guide and other sites including From Gamers Magazine, Retroware, Game Rant and TechRaptor. He's also written for self-improvement sites such as Lifehack and produced in-depth analyses on subjects such as health, psychology and entertainment.