Apple Watch patent hints at a new core body temperature sensor, making thermometers redundant | Wearables News

Apple Watch patent hints at a new core body temperature sensor, making thermometers redundant

Apple's new patent suggests a non-invasive core body temperature measurement method for the Apple Watch, overcoming device and environment temperature fluctuations.

| Updated on: Mar 12 2024, 14:44 IST
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Apple has filed a new patent for the Apple Watch which hints at a possible core body temperature measuring feature. (Representative Image) (Unsplash)

A new patent for the Apple Watch has come to light which refers to a new type of body temperature sensor that could potentially make thermometers redundant. This development comes hot on the heels of the iPhone maker's decision to remove the blood oxygen monitoring feature from its smartwatches in the US following a lawsuit by health technology company Masimo. While most flagship smartwatches today already come equipped with a body temperature sensor, the one which Apple has filed a patent for could leave them in the dust.

New Apple Watch patent

A new patent filed by Apple (via PatentlyApple) at the US Patent & Trademark Office is titled ‘Core Temperature Sensing With Wearable Electronic Device' and was filed on March 7, 2024. It suggests a new, non-invasive method of measuring the core body temperature. At present, most smartwatches measure the body temperature via the skin. However, it can fluctuate depending on the temperature of the device as well as the environment. 

In such cases, thermometers are a great way of measuring the temperature, but they require to be inserted into a body cavity such as an ear or mouth. Apple plans to overcome both these problems with a newly patented Apple Watch that might get a core body temperature measuring feature. 

How would it work?

In theory, it would measure the temperature difference between two locations within the device. One of the locations would be close to the part of the device that is in contact with the skin. Based on the heat flux from the skin, the device would calculate the heat flux correction factor, which would be used in one or more algorithms to calculate the surface temperature. The patent mentions that the surface temperature can then be used to extrapolate the core temperature of the person wearing the device.

The patented Apple Watch would have a thin film thermopile bonded to two junctions - the first to a logic board, and the second to a rear cover. While the patent surely seems interesting, it is important to note that not all patented products make it to the production stages. Some of them do not even make the concept stage. Thus, an Apple Watch with a core body temperature measuring feature may or may not come in the future.

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First Published Date: 12 Mar, 14:44 IST