Former Apple Watch architect reveals heart-rate sensor design process

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The heart rate monitor really sucks up some battery.
Getting accurate heart rate sensors here wasn't easy.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Apple Watch is known for having one of the best heart-rate sensors among smart watches, but according to former Apple platform architect Bob Messerschmidt, getting a super accurate reading wasn’t an easy task.

Messerschmidt joined Apple in 2010 after Steve Jobs acquired his company and set him to work on the Apple Watch team. In a new interview that reveals some of the design process that went into Apple Watch, Messerschmidt says he originally wanted to put the heart rate sensor in the Apple Watch bands.

Get your workout fix in 7 minutes on your Apple TV

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Get your heart rate pumping in seven minutes.
Get your heart rate pumping in seven minutes.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

The holy grail of the home workout is something that you can get set up for quickly and easily, doesn’t require a lot of gear, and will only take as short a time as possible.

Wahoo Fitness thinks they have this down. The developer of the Wahoo 7 Minute Workout app has brought its science-based, high-intensity interval workout to your big screen via the Apple TV app store, so you can get your workout on quickly and easily.

Apple accused of stealing its Apple Watch heart rate tech

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I have a pulse. That’s reassuring.
Does the lawsuit have a pulse?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Heart rate-sensing technology was one of the big features of the Apple Watch (having even been credited with saving one customer’s life!), but according to a lawsuit filed by biometrics company Valencell, Apple allegedly failed to properly license the technology and is therefore using it illegally.

The Apple announcements that really got our hearts pumping

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If you look closely you can actually pinpoint the exact moment the Apple Watch heart rate monitor stops working.
You can actually pinpoint the second when Apple announced a stylus.
Photo: The Simpsons, Twentieth Century Fox

We’ve seen Wednesday’s Apple keynote dissected every which way, but how about analyzing the moments where viewers’ heart rates jumped at the latest news from the Good Ship Cupertino?

That’s what the developers and beta testers of heart-monitoring Apple Watch app Cardiogram did, as they set their devices to workout mode for the anticipated event to find out what really tugged at their heart strings.

The results are … interesting.

Get ready to run: The first of Wahoo’s next-gen Bluetooth heart-rate sensors is here

wahoo-tickr-run

Wahoo’s first heart-rate sensor was of the pedestrian ANT+ variety, and connected to the iPhone through a 30-pin ANT+ dongle. Around a year later, the Atlanta-based outfit introduced the first heart-rate sensor that connected to a smartphone through Bluetooth; specifically and only to the iPhone 4s, since that was the only phone at the time with Bluetooth 4.0 under the hood.

Wahoo upped the ante again in January at CES, when they revealed a radical departure from traditional heart-rate based fitness tracking: Their new highly sophisticated, three-model TICKR sensor squad, combined with an all-new app that turns conventional fitness-tracking on its head. Now the first of the TICKR trio, the TICKR Run, is hitting the street.