Apple’s Breakthrough: New Patent Revolutionizes Water Safety for Apple Watch Users

April 15, 2024 – Apple has recently filed a new patent application, according to media reports. The patent indicates a technology that could enable Apple Watch to detect drowning and automatically call for help through the coordination of hardware and software.

Utilizing its advanced sensor technology, Apple Watch can accurately analyze the wearer’s movement trajectory and biological indicators to determine if they are in a normal swimming state. Once it detects the wearer’s cessation of movement or irregular limb movements, the watch promptly reacts by sending an SOS message to rescue agencies, ensuring prompt assistance for the wearer.

Furthermore, the Apple Watch possesses the ability to recognize non-swimming actions. When the wearer’s arm movements above the head deviate from the regular swimming pattern, combined with GPS-detected motion and speed information, the watch can analyze that the wearer may be drowning. This comprehensive detection method significantly enhances the accuracy of drowning detection.

In addition to analyzing movement trajectories, Apple Watch can also monitor the wearer’s heart rate and blood oxygen levels in real-time. During swimming, if the watch detects that the wearer requires assistance due to health issues such as a heart attack, it will promptly activate the automatic rescue function and send a distress signal to relevant individuals.

It is worth noting that Apple pointed out in the patent documents that up to 3,500 people die from drowning in the United States every year. Although technologies like the SwimEye system, which utilizes real-time underwater video and object recognition software to monitor swimmers’ safety, exist in the market, they not only incur high installation costs but also suffer from some practical issues, such as swimmers potentially obstructing the camera leading to false alarms. Therefore, Apple’s new patent undoubtedly provides a more efficient and practical solution for the field of drowning detection.

Apple stated that this new feature can be used in conjunction with existing drowning detection solutions to further improve response speed and accuracy. More importantly, it can also be applied in places where underwater systems cannot be installed, such as lakes, rivers, and other natural bodies of water. This means that whether in public swimming pools, gymnasium pools, or vast natural water bodies, the Apple Watch can provide powerful safety assurance for wearers.

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