Apple is delving into strain gauge sensors, potentially to enhance the strength training features of the Apple Watch, as revealed by a recent job post (spotted by MyHealthyApple).
The Health Technologies team at Apple is on the hunt for engineers with expertise in analog electronics, particularly those familiar with mechatronic systems that use actuators, temperature sensors, strain gauges, and photodiodes. The chosen engineer will be involved in creating, testing, and refining prototype health devices. This indicates Apple's potential focus on incorporating these features into the Apple Watch.
While the Apple Watch already has an actuator, temperature sensor, and photodiodes, it lacks a strain gauge. These gauges detect changes in electrical resistance under force. They're commonly found in systems for motion tracking and health monitoring. Studies have shown that a single strain sensor on the wrist can precisely gauge skin strains and even monitor blood pressure – a speculated addition to future Apple Watch iterations.
Currently, the Apple Watch tracks active calories, duration, and heart rate for strength workouts. Though suitable for activities like running or cycling, these aren't as effective for strength exercises since heart rate doesn't align with exertion and weight. Strain gauges could provide insights into specific strength exercises' effects. Moreover, the Workout app doesn't log weights, repetitions, or sets to determine muscle workload.
This is an exciting rumor for those who rely on strength training as their main form of exercise. Apple Watch has ample room for advancement in monitoring this type of workout.