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US judge rules Apple Watch infringes on sensor technology patent


Apple Watch 6 was the first model to include the pulse oximetry sensor.
Apple Watch 6 was the first model to include the pulse oximetry sensor.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

A judge in Washington, D.C., ruled Tuesday that Apple infringes on one of medical device maker Masimo’s patents for light-based pulse oximetry sensor functionality and components used in Apple Watch 6 onward. The sensor measures blood oxygen levels.

Next the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) will decide whether to ban imports of Apple Watches that include the sensor, Masimo said.

In a statement, Apple disputed the ruling.

Leak shows new Ecobee SmartThermostat will pack air-quality sensor


A hidden image in the updated iOS app shows the upcoming air quality monitor.
A hidden image in the updated iOS app shows the upcoming air quality monitor.
Photo: Ecobee

It appears Ecobee, the Canadian smart home accessories maker, will soon release a new version of its SmartThermostat with an air-quality sensor built right in.

The leak of the upcoming product came in the form of a hidden image in an update to the company’s iOS app.

New sensor could turn 2022 Apple Watch into a doctor on your wrist


The Blood Oxygen sensor employs LEDs, along with photodiodes on the back crystal of Apple Watch Series 6.
You might soon be wearing the equivalent of a medical laboratory.
Photo: Apple

A deal between Apple and Rockley Photonics could add new medical sensors to the Apple Watch in 2022. That might include non-invasive monitoring of blood sugar levels, body temperature and blood pressure. It might even add the ability to measure blood-alcohol levels.

The British startup promises to “bring laboratory diagnostics to the wrist.”

Custom chips could make Apple Watch even better


Join the crew with Apple Watch
Apple's got a gutsy move to make Apple Watch a better health machine.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of MAc

Custom health chips could be the next big piece of silicon to come out of Apple’s labs.

Apple reportedly has a team of engineers exploring the creation of a customized processor is optimized to make sense of health information from sensors at a faster rate than the S series processors found in the Apple Watch.

Apple accused of reducing sensor accuracy for Face ID


Face ID will still be accurate, but not quite as accurate as it could have been.
Photo: Apple

The Face ID sensor on the new iPhone X may be accurate, but according to a new report it could have been even more so if Apple hadn’t been experiencing production problems with the handset.

With the prospect of losing holiday sales, Apple reportedly “quietly told suppliers” that they could reduce the accuracy of the face-recognition technology used in the new handset in order to make it easier to manufacture.

Original Apple Watch gets extended service coverage


Apple Watch sensors
Has your Apple Watch's sensor panel popped off?
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple has extended its service coverage for the first-generation Apple Watch. If you have a unit with a separated sensor panel, you can get it repaired for free by visiting Apple or an authorized service provider within three years of your purchase date.

Tim Cook spotted testing glucose tracking on Apple Watch


Tim Cook takes home $125 million for Apple’s best year since 2009
What's Tim hiding up his sleeves?
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The next major breakthrough for Apple Watch is currently being tested by none other than Apple CEO and fitness freak Tim Cook.

A new report claims that Cook has been spotted walking around Apple’s corporate headquarters wearing a special Apple Watch attachment that could be a game-changer for people with diabetes.

Apple Watch could lead to 7x increase in wearables market


Apple Watch supply is finally catching up with demand.
The Apple Watch could trigger a drastic increase in wearable tech sales. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple’s great at hopping into new markets just as they’re set to explode, and it seems that the upcoming Apple Watch is no different.

Despite mixed reports about consumer interest, research firm IHS thinks demand for sensor-equipped wearable tech devices is going to see a major acceleration starting next year — largely thanks to Cupertino. Just how much of an increase are we talking about? Try 7x the size of the existing market by 2019, according to analysts.

“Similar to the iPhone and iPad, IHS expects the Apple Watch will set a de facto standard for sensor specifications in smartwatches,” says Jeremie Bouchaud, director and senior principal analyst, MEMS & Sensors. “Most other wearable [original equipment manufacturers] will follow Apple’s lead in [incorporating multiple sensors into devices] — or will add even more sensors to differentiate.”

Sensor-filled shirt can tell your iPhone how fit you are



The iWatch may be set to mark Apple’s debut into health and fitness tracking, but one company is taking the concept of wearables a step further.

The forthcoming $199 OMsignal shirt promises to be the gym wear of the future — featuring a ton of health sensors sewn into its fabric, which constantly monitor the condition of the wearer. Sensors are capable of tracking heart rate, breathing rate, breathing volume, movement (including steps and cadence), movement intensity, heart rate variability, and calories burned.

“The data is sent via Bluetooth to a specially developed iPhone app, which lets you see all of it in real time,” says Dr. Jesse Slade Shantz, the firm’s Chief Medical Officer. “Your iPhone beams the data up to the cloud, and algorithms we’ve developed then push back various metrics — showing you information about your breathing during workouts, and information like that.”