Apple’s latest Watch update encourage users to wash their hands properly by showing them a 20-second timer on their wrist while they are doing it.
The firm announced the new feature at their annual Worldwide Developer Conference on Monday alongside a spate of other updates.
Apple said washing hands properly for at least 20 seconds can help prevent the spread of illnesses, such as the deadly coronavirus that put the world in lockdown.
It uses the motion sensors, microphones and machine learning to detect when someone starts washing their hands then initiates a 20-second countdown timer.
Other new features announced for the wearable device include the ability to swap Watch faces, dance tracking in the fitness app and sleep monitoring.
Apple’s latest Watch update will tell users to make sure they wash their hands properly and show them a 20 second timer while they are doing it
Apple described the handwashing feature as a ‘first-of-its-kind innovation for a wearable’ technology that will also integrate with the Health app on the iPhone.
The company say it is part of a series of innovations designed to help people as they return to workplaces after coronavirus put much of the world in isolation.
It will ‘also conveniently remind the user to wash their hands when they return home,’ Apple said in a statement about the update.
The iPhone Health app will show frequency and duration of handwashing, as well as information on the importance of keeping hands clean, as it relates to overall health.
Apple described the handwashing feature as a ‘first-of-its-kind innovation for a wearable’ technology that will also integrate with the Health app on the iPhone
Other new features announced for the wearable device include the ability to swap Watch faces, dance tracking in the fitness app and sleep monitoring
‘Sounds used to detect handwashing are not automatically recorded or saved by the Health app or Apple Watch,’ a spokesperson said.
The latest update for the wearable tech, first launched in April 2015, focuses on customisation, health and fitness, according to the Cupertino firm.
Other new health features include sleep tracking, new workout types and a hearing health feature that together give ‘greater insight into overall well-being and are designed with privacy in mind’.
They have also updated the Maps app to include cycling directions and language translation services for Siri.
‘We’re energised by the positive impact Apple Watch is having on our customers and are excited to deliver meaningful new tools that support their health, fitness, and wellness,’ said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.
‘watchOS 7 brings sleep tracking, automatic handwashing detection, and new workout types together with a whole new way to discover and use watch faces, helping our users stay healthy, active, and connected.’
The watch announcements were made from the Apple Campus fitness centre, further highlighting the focus on the device as a health tool.
With watchOS 7, Apple Watch introduces sleep tracking, taking a holistic approach to sleep by providing tools to help users get the desired amount of sleep, get to bed on time, and create a pre-bedtime routine to meet their sleep goals.
The latest update for the wearable tech, first launched in April 2015, focuses on customisation, health and fitness, according to the Cupertino firm
Through the detection of micro-movements from the watch’s accelerometer, which signals respiration during sleep, Apple Watch captures when the wearer is sleeping and how much sleep they get each night, the company confirmed.
In the morning, the user will see a breakdown of their previous night’s sleep, including periods of wake and sleep.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, a bedtime routine helps the body prepare for sleep and so Apple added a new ‘wind down’ feature.
The update also builds on hearing health features first introduced to WatchOS6 including the Noise app that measures ambient sound levels and exposure duration.
In OS7 users can see how loudly they are listening to media through headphones – regardless of the device they are connected to – and the impact over time.
Users will also get a notification if they’ve reached 100 per cent of the safe weekly listening amount – about 80 decibels for 40 hours per week.
The device will be able to monitor your wake and sleep periods through the night and help you get a healthier nights sleep, according to Apple
The firm have added the ability to track calories burnt while dancing for the first time
The Activity app has also been renamed the Fitness app and includes calorie exertion for Dance for the first time.
To correctly capture calorie exertion for Dance, Apple Watch uses advanced sensor fusion, combining data from the heart rate sensor and inputs from the accelerometer and gyroscope.
‘This workout type was validated and tested with four of the most popular dance styles for exercise: Bollywood, cardio dance, hip-hop, and Latin,’ the firm said.
Outside of health and fitness changes, the Watch also offers more sharing and customisation options – including the ability to ‘swap Watch faces’ or download them from the internet.
‘watchOS 7 offers new ways to discover and share unique combinations to completely configure the watch face to suit any activity or lifestyle,’ Apple said.
THE TRILLION DOLLAR RISE OF APPLE
The company’s journey to the summit of the technology industry has been a rocky one, having seen Jobs (pictured right in 1976) leave the firm in the mid-1980s after his pet project, the first Macintosh computer, struggled and he attempted to oust then chief executive John Sculley. Wozniak is pictured left
1976: Founders Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne created the company on April 1 1976 as they set about selling computer kits to hobbyists, each of which was built by Wozniak.
The first product was the Apple I.
1977: Apple released the Apple II in June, which was the first PC made for the mass market.
1981: Jobs became chairman.
1984: The Macintosh was introduced during an ad break for the Super Bowl and later officially unveiled during a launch event. It was discontinued a year later and Jobs left the firm.
1987: Apple released the Macintosh II, the first colour Mac.
1997: Apple announces it will acquire NeXT software in a $400 million deal that involves Jobs returning to Apple as interim CEO. He officially took the role in 2000.
2001: Apple introduced iTunes, OS X and the first-generation iPod.
The first iPod MP3 music player was released on October 23, 2001, at an event in Cupertino and was able to hold up to 1,000 songs.
Steve Jobs unveils Apple Computer Corporation’s new Macintosh February 6, 1984 in California.
The then Chief Executive Officer of Apple, Steve Jobs, with the iPhone
2007: Apple unveils the iPhone.
2010: The first iPad was unveiled.
2011: Jobs resigned in 2011 due to illness, handing the CEO title to Tim Cook. Job died in October from pancreatic cancer.
2014: Apple unveiled the Apple Watch. It also unveiled its first larger iPhones – the 6 and 6 Plus.
2015: After purchasing Beats from Dr Dre, Apple launched Apple Music to compete with Spotify and other music streaming services.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs speaks at an Apple event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.
2016: Apple returned to its roots and announced the 4-inch iPhone SE. Meanwhile, the firm is embroiled in a legal battle with the FBI, involving the agency demanding access to the locked phone used by Syed Farook, who died in a shootout after carrying out a deadly December attack in San Bernardino, California with his wife. The court order was dropped on March 28 after the FBI said a third party was able to unlock the device.
2017: Apple introduces the iPhone X, which removes the home button to make way for a futuristic edge-to-edge screen design and a new FaceID system that uses advanced sensors and lasers to unlock phones with just the owner’s face.
2018: In a first for the company, Apple introduces new features in its latest operating system, iOS 12, that encourage users to manage and spend less time on their devices. The move was spawned by a strongly worded letter from shareholders that urged the firm to address the growing problem of smartphone addiction among kids and teenagers.
2019: In January, Apple reports its first decline in revenues and profits in a decade. CEO Tim Cook partly blamed steep declines in revenue from China.
2020: In March, Apple closes all its bricks and mortar retail stores outside of China in response to coronavirus.