apple: Explained: How does Apple Watch’s activity tracking work

Explained How does Apple Watchs activity tracking work

Apple just wrapped up its WWDC keynote, where it announced the version of WearOS – the WearOS 9 for the Apple Watch. And we are expecting a new batch of Apple Watch this fall. Don’t you think Apple Watch is more capable of doing what most smartwatches can not even do properly? A lot more than counting steps and keeping track of your calories. And now, with the WatchOS 9, it can even track how efficiently you are running and automatically switch between different exercises. The exercise ring on your Apple Watch has a lot going behind the curtain. Yes, everyone’s grinding to fill those rings but do you ever come across the thought of how the Apple Watch does it? How does a watch on your wrist measure all these metrics while motivating you to keep your fitness goals? Well, don’t worry; we have got you covered.

What is the tech behind Apple Watch’s activity tracking?

Let’s start with the basics. So, the Apple Watch is a smartwatch which means it has a brain of its own – a processor, and there are a bunch of different sensors on the watch and a display where you can see different stats. It is pretty easy the different sensors present on the watch, including a heart rate monitor, accelerometer, gyroscope and even the latest one has an electrical heart sensor to count the different stats about your health or exercise. But how does it get to know that you are standing or working out?

The sensors on the Apple Watch keep checking your heart rate at regular intervals. So, if it is stagnant and there is no major change, it assumes you are resting. Meanwhile, once the sensors detect a deflection, mostly an increase in heart rate, other sensors, including the accelerometer and gyroscope, start tracking your movement and decide that you are working out. It keeps your speed and arm motion in consideration while deciding what kind of exercise you are doing. Even GPS measures the speed and distance you cover during walking or cycling.

How does Apple Watch knows how many calories have you burnt?

A lot of the tracking is based on the personal information you have filled in while setting up the watch. If you have entered the wrong information, you might not get an accurate calorie count as it is calculated based on your height, weight, and the exercise you have done throughout the day. So, check your personal information once and correct it to get accurate measurements.

How does Sleep tracking work on the Apple Watch?

The Sleep tracking on the Apple Watch is quite simple. So, sleep tracking is integrated with the Clock app on your iPhone. And you set the time when you will be going to sleep. Apple calls it the ‘bedtime’. Then there is a wake-up time, and during the period, your watch will go into DND mode. The heart rate sensor will work throughout the night to determine the time you were asleep with the help of your heart rate.

Apple Watch is smarter than you think

Those exercise rings on your Watch fill up as you keep working out. But, Apple Watch is smart, so it learns your exercise routine and gives you fewer points if you continuously do that. So to fill those rings, your watch will push you to try harder and do new exercises.

With the WatchOS 9, Apple announced the MultiSport workout type; when enabled, the Apple Watch can automatically switch between swimming, running and biking. Apple also brought some new features for the runners. The Apple Watch running WatchOS 9 can detect different running metrics, including Stride Length, Ground Contact Time, and Vertical Oscillation.


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