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The company is also planning later versions of the wearable that will be able to scan the temperature of its wearers’ body and measure blood sugar levels, according to the same report – though neither is likely to be ready this year.
In recent years, Apple has released the new Watches on an annual schedule, usually in September alongside the new version of the iPhone. The company looks set to do the same this year, with a new model likely known as the Apple Watch Series 7.
That update might make the Watch slightly thicker, a new report from Bloomberg claims, which would follow other Apple devices that have departed from the company’s design ethos of making ever-thinner products. But the extra size is not likely to be noticeable and will come alongside thinner borders around the side of the display and a new technique that will allow the screen to be closer to the glass, the same Bloomberg report claimed.
The Watch will also have improved wireless technologies, including the ultra-wide band chip that comes in the new AirTags and allows iPhones to locate them with precision. It is also likely to get a faster processor, in keeping with other recent Apple Watch upgrades.
Apple has already been rumoured to be also working on an “extreme sports” version of the Watch, which has also been referred to as an “explorer” or “adventure” edition, and the new report suggests that work is ongoing but that the update is likely to arrive in 2022. Other smartwatch makers, such as Garmin, already make watches specifically designed for hiking, diving and other more high-impact uses.
The report suggested that Apple had been planning a body temperature sensor for this year’s model, but that it is likely to be pushed back until 2022. Such technology would be in keeping with other features intended on tracking the status of its users’ body, as well as watching for early warnings of potential health issues.
The blood glucose sensor is not likely to be available in a commercial launch for several years, the same report claimed. Apple has long been rumoured to be working on the technology, and others such as Supersapiens have introduced technology to monitor blood sugar through the skin, but no company offers the technology in anything comparable to an Apple Watch.
Apple does already have technology for monitoring the blood in its Apple Watches. The most recent update – the Series 6 – added a blood oxygen sensor that scans through the skin and reports whether its owner appears healthy.