Apple Watch Series 6 Introduces a Revolutionary Blood Oxygen feature along with an Always-On Altimeter, new Watch Bands & more
Today Apple introduced Apple Watch Series 6 with its "revolutionary Blood Oxygen feature that offers users even more insight into their overall wellness." Over the summer of 2020 Patently Apple posted four patent reports that mentioned measuring Blood Oxygen levels being considered as a future health feature (01, 02, 03 and 04). These patents, that are part of a larger health project overall, are now patent fulfilled, though there's likely more patents on this to surface with added details to surface over the next year.
Apple stated today in their press release that "Apple Watch Series 6 expands the health capabilities of previous Apple Watch models with a new feature that conveniently measures the oxygen saturation of the user’s blood, so they can better understand their overall fitness and wellness. Oxygen saturation, or SpO2, represents the percentage of oxygen being carried by red blood cells from the lungs to the rest of the body, and indicates how well this oxygenated blood is being delivered throughout the body.
To compensate for natural variations in the skin and improve accuracy, the Blood Oxygen sensor employs four clusters of green, red, and infrared LEDs, along with the four photodiodes on the back crystal of Apple Watch, to measure light reflected back from blood.
Apple Watch then uses an advanced custom algorithm built into the Blood Oxygen app, which is designed to measure blood oxygen between 70 percent and 100 percent. On-demand measurements can be taken while the user is still, and periodic background measurements occur when they are inactive, including during sleep. All data will be visible in the Health app, and the user will be able to track trends over time to see how their blood oxygen level changes.
Apple Watch Collection
Beyond Apple's revolutionary Blood Oxygen algorithm and app, customers have more choices than ever when it comes to stunning new cases and bands to suit every style preference.
For the first time, a new deep blue color joins the silver, space gray, and gold aluminum case options, along with a (PRODUCT)RED Apple Watch with exclusive matching bright red bands.
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Stainless steel models are now available in graphite — a rich gray-black hue with a striking high-shine finish — and an updated classic yellow gold color. Apple Watch Edition is available in natural and space black titanium.
In August Apple was granted an Apple Watch band patent dynamic adjustment of the fit of wearable electronic devices can be desired. Apple's invention is able to enhance comfort by providing adjustability across a continuous scale of tightness. For example, the watchband can be adjusted to any length, rather than to one of a few discrete lengths. That very much sounds like one of Apple's new bands as presented today.
Design and Performance
Apple Watch Series 6 improves performance through redesigned hardware that packs even more features and power into the same impressively small design. Using a new dual-core processor based on A13 Bionic in iPhone 11, the upgraded S6 SiP runs up to 20 percent faster, allowing apps to also launch 20 percent faster, while maintaining the same all-day 18-hour battery life.2 Additionally, Apple Watch Series 6 features the U1 chip and Ultra Wideband antennas,3 which will enable short-range wireless location to support new experiences, such as next-generation digital car keys. Apple Watch Series 6 offers faster charging, completing a full charge in under 1.5 hours, and improved battery life for tracking certain workouts, such as indoor and outdoor runs.
An enhanced Always-On Retina display on Apple Watch Series 6 is up to 2.5 times brighter than Apple Watch Series 5 outdoors when the user’s wrist is down, making it much easier to see a watch face in bright sunlight. When their wrist is down, the user can also now access Notification Center and Control Center, tap on complications, and swipe to change faces without having to wake their watch screen.
The always-on altimeter provides real-time elevation all day long by using a new, more power-efficient barometric altimeter, along with GPS and nearby Wi-Fi networks. This feature allows for the detection of small elevation changes above ground level, up and down to the measurement of 1 foot, and can be shown as a new watch face complication or workout metric.
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Pricing and Availability
- Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS) starts at $399 and Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS + Cellular) starts at $499.
- Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS) is available to order today from apple.com and in the Apple Store app, with availability beginning Friday, September 18, in the US, Puerto Rico, and 27 other countries and regions.
- Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS + Cellular) is available to order today from apple.com and in the Apple Store app, with availability beginning Friday, September 18, in the US, Puerto Rico, and 21 other countries and regions. For carrier availability, visit apple.com/watch/cellular.
There's a lot more to explore and learn about the new Apple Watch Series 6 here.