Apple's Watch-oriented fitness lab tops 66,000 hours of data, 10,000 subjects

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in Apple Watch
Apple's dedicated fitness lab in Cupertino -- which has so far contributed mostly to the Apple Watch -- has managed to log over 33,000 workout sessions and 66,000 hours, "more data on activity and exercise than any other human performance study in history," the company's director of fitness for health technologies said in a recent interview.




The lab has also had "more than 10,000 unique participants," Jay Blahnik told Men's Health. Though related work has been ongoing since 2012, when Apple revealed the lab in 2015, it had accumulated about 10,000 workouts and 18,000 hours.

The facility recruits Apple workers to perform various exercises while being monitored by equipment as such a metabolic cart and/or an electrocardiogram (ECG) machine. They may also wear a mask said to cost $40,000, which monitors calorie output, oxygen consumption, and VO2 max -- the last a common gauge of fitness among athletes and serious enthusiasts.

A primary goal is ensuring accuracy not just for new activities, such as the high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in this fall's watchOS 4, but continually updating existing algorithms. A number of other activities may also be coming to watchOS, but likely without the extra depth given to HIIT.




Blahnik noted that with the Apple Watch, one focus is making people feel like part of a fitness community, something made possible by watchOS's support for following friends' activity data. Activity Rings help amplify the competitive aspect, something Blahnik remarked was in effect this year during a month-long Apple health challenge, in which workers used the Watch and LoseIt! Challenges.

Apple is believed to be working on a third-generation Watch with LTE, which should be announced at a Sept. 12 press event. Indeed Blahnik's interview may have been timed to generate advance publicity.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 4
    So... definitely new Watches.
  • Reply 2 of 4
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,678member
    So... definitely new Watches.
    I sure hope so. I use my Series 0 for swimming with an "open goal" for Exercise but I'd really like to have option specifically for swimming… and more-so than what Series 2 currently offers.

    As someone else mentioned recently, it would be great if you could set it for a triathlon and have it know what activity you're doing without having to take out precise time between transitions to switch the activity type. 
    edited September 2017 steveau
  • Reply 3 of 4
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,678member
    Where do you think that Apple does/will do this testing? Will this be done at Apple Park or off sight? Will this be at the R&D facility to help keep it secret, or will they need to have employees come in to increase the accuracy which could mean somewhere in the main, ring campus; or would they just keep it all in their new, 100,000 sqft wellness center?
  • Reply 4 of 4
    Roger_FingasRoger_Fingas Posts: 124member, editor
    Soli said:
    Where do you think that Apple does/will do this testing? Will this be done at Apple Park or off sight? Will this be at the R&D facility to help keep it secret, or will they need to have employees come in to increase the accuracy which could mean somewhere in the main, ring campus; or would they just keep it all in their new, 100,000 sqft wellness center?
    They do this testing at a facility a short trip away from Apple Park.
    lolliver
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