Apple is expected to announce the next device in its Apple Watch lineup in September, but its supposed body temperature sensor may not work at launch.
The Apple Watch 8 has long been believed to include a way to monitor a user’s skin temperature. Such a tool would provide a number of benefits, including the ability to better track sleep cycles, possibly indicate if you have a fever, and even detect if you are ovulating.
However, a new report by the MacRumors (opens in new tab) indicates that fever detection may not be ready when Apple Watch 8 starts.
That’s a great pity if that’s the case. Sleep monitoring and family tracking tools are awesome, but being able to spot the potential signs of a fever would be a game-changer in our more health-conscious world. As someone who still gets tested for Covid-19 before traveling or visiting elderly relatives, this feature would give me even more peace of mind when I go out and see people.
If my Apple Watch thinks I might have a fever, I make an informed decision about whether to leave or stay behind and avoid passing on a bug, whether it’s Covid or anything else that could make my friends and family sick.
This disappointment follows similar news about the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 having a new infrared temperature sensor that is still not being used properly. Much like the supposed sensor on the Apple Watch 8, the Galaxy Watch 5 would use skin temperature monitoring to track the user’s sleep more accurately.
Despite Samsung talking about the feature many times ahead of the Galaxy Watch 5’s launch, it’s not currently active – but it will be available “in the near future” whenever it is.
As for Apple, it’s unclear whether the fever detection tool can be added to the Watch 8 via a post-launch firmware update, or if it’s a hardware issue that won’t change until the Apple Watch 9 inevitably appears. We’ll have to wait and see what Apple announces in September.
And it looks like Apple might have a little to show for not just with a regular Apple Watch, but with a new Apple Watch SE 2 expected alongside a new Apple Watch 8 Rugged Edition.