As per reports, Apple is testing sleep tracking for next generation Apple Watch. Being tested at a secret location at Apple’s headquarter in California, the goal of this feature would be to monitor and record user’s sleep patterns. If successful, the feature might be integrated in iOS Health App and released by 2020. The smartwatch is marketed by the company as a health and fitness tracking device, therefore, this alleged feature will give the Apple watch a push in the market as an all-round health device.
As per protocol, Apple refused to officially comment on the news but there are other sources that give some validation to these claims. Recently, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook told board members in an annual meeting that new health features will be incorporated in the smartwatch. Of course, he did not mention any names, but we can assume that he might be referring to the sleep tracking feature as one of the new health features. Apple acquired Beddit in 2017, which is a sleep monitoring hardware manufacturing company. Beddit monitors were already sold at Apple stores, even before the company was acquired by Apple. Thus, native integration of sleep tracking in next generation Apple Watches seems like a sensible addition.
Fitbit, Apple’s smartwatch and fitness tracker competitor, already ships with sleep monitoring and a longer battery life on a single charge. Both features are something that Apple has yet to offer. Furthermore, third party apps like AutoSleep work seamlessly with the iPhone’s Clock app’s bedtime alarm and phone’s activity, to track sleep.
Keeping the current battery life of Apple Watch in mind, it will be interesting to see how Apple Watch’s hardware will support sleep tracking. The current Apple Watch needs daily recharge, preferably over night for a full day’s functionality. Thus, we will have to wait to see if Apple will release a new power saving mode to run the device through the night, ship the next-generation Apple Watch with supporting hardware for sleep tracking or improve battery life so Apple Watch lasts longer on a single charge.