Apple Watch

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Related topics HRV (Heart Rate Variability), Activity tracking, Sleep tracking, Oxygen saturation

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The Apple Watch is a wearable smart watch introduced by Apple in 2015 which includes a number of sensors useful for doing personal science. Since the first release, Apple Watches include a heart rate sensor and accelerometers/gyroscopes for activity tracking. Since 2020, some Apple Watch models also do rudimentary sleep tracking, though the capabilities are still somewhat behind other wearables. Since the 4th generation, Apple Watches also include an ECG sensor that can be used to take manual readings and since the 6th generation they it includes a Blood oxygen sensor. Beyond this, the Apple Watch also uses its microphone to regularly record environmental noise levels.

Data storage and export

All the data recorded by an Apple Watch is stored locally on the iPhone it is connected too and can be found inside the Apple Health application. Exporting the data from Apple Health is not trivial though. While it is possible to export all data as a full dump of all data from Apple Health, this generates a large ZIP archive that contains the data in an XML format that is not easy to re-use.

Exporting via Health Auto Export

The iPhone app Health Auto Export provides a way to export selected data in JSON, CSV or GPX files (the latter for geolocation data from workouts). The CSV format in particular can be used to import data into Excel or other spreadsheet software. While the base-version of the application is free, additional export options can also be made available through an in-app purchase. This allows to automatically sync data to iCloud and also provides a way to synchronize data to other external services.

Projects using Apple Watch

Sensors in different Apple Watch series

The table below is an abridged version of the one found on Wikipedia, focusing on the sensors that are used on the different Apple Watch series.

Legend: Template:Legend2 Template:Legend2 Template:Legend2
Specification[1] 1st generation[2] 2nd generation (Series 1)[1] 2nd generation (Series 2)[1] 3rd generation (Series 3)[3][1] 4th generation (Series 4)[1] 5th generation (Series 5)[1] 6th generation (SE) 6th generation (Series 6) 7th generation (Series 7) 8th generation (Series 8)[4]
Water resistance[1] IPX7 splash resistant (up to 1 meter)[2][1] ISO 22810:2010 water resistant (up to 50 meters)[3][1]
Optical heart sensor[1] 1st generation[2][3][1] 2nd generation[5][6] 3rd generation[7][8]
Electrical heart sensor (ECG/EKG)[1] No[1] Yes[1] No Yes
Blood oxygen sensor[1] No[1] Yes[1]
Accelerometer[1] 16g[2][3][1] 32g[1] 256g
Gyroscope[1] Yes[2][3][1] Improved[1]
Altimeter[1] No[2][1] Yes[3][1] Always on[3][1]
Compass No Yes[9]
Introduced April 2015 September 2016 September 2017 September 2018 September 2019 September 2020 September 2021 September 2022
Discontinued September 2016 September 2018 September 2017 September 2022 September 2019 September 2020 In Production September 2021 September 2022 In Production