If you were hoping for more exciting updates with the Apple Watch Series 8, you might have to start tempering expectations. While it was initially thought that the next-generation watch would have a body temperature sensor, it’s looking like that may not be the case after all.
A body temperature sensor for the Series 8 has been heavily rumored for some time now. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman — who has a pretty good track record when it comes to Apple rumors — first hinted a body temperature sensor was coming in June. That was echoed by The Wall Street Journal in September for a potential fertility feature. Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also predicted a body temperature sensor that same month. All in all, there have been several solid reasons to believe this was in the pipeline.
However, in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman has backtracked. When speaking about the Series 8’s potential for body temperature sensing, blood glucose monitoring, and blood pressure capabilities, Gurman wrote, “Don’t expect any of these soon, though. Body temperature was on this year’s roadmap, but chatter about it has slowed down recently. Blood pressure is at least two to three years away, while I wouldn’t be surprised if glucose monitoring doesn’t land until later in the second half of the decade.”
For blood pressure and blood glucose, this makes a lot of sense. While there’s been a lot of headway in noninvasive, cuffless blood pressure monitoring in wearables, the technology simply isn’t there yet. The same applies to blood glucose monitoring. Although the feature was rumored for the Series 7 and in Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4, it never materialized. The tech does exist in a nascent form — a prototype from Japanese startup Quantum Operationwas featured at CES 2021 — but it’s nowhere near ready for consumer-grade devices. Of the rumored features, body temperature sensors seemed most likely as they’re already available in several other consumer wearables, including those from rivals like Fitbit. In fact, body temperature sensors in wearables gained a lot of attention in 2020, when researchers used them to try to determine whether smartwatches could detect COVID-19.