Apple Watch Series 7 has support for 60.5GHz short-range data transfer

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited September 23
FCC filings reveal that the Apple Watch Series 7 has a 60.5GHz wireless module for fast data transfer, but what specifically it is for is unclear.

Apple Watch Series 7 has 60.5GHz module
Apple Watch Series 7 has 60.5GHz module


The 60.5GHz module is only activated when connected to a proprietary Wireless Serial Dock. This precludes the radio from being used during normal use and likely is limited to internal Apple development tools or Apple Store use.

The FCC filing, first shared by MacRumors contains information about the proprietary dock, designed by Apple. It has a USB-C port and uses the serial number A2687.

The usefulness of the module is in question, however, since the 60.5GHz radio will provide speeds of about 200 megabits per second -- less than half the maximum of USB 2.0. WiFi is capable of transferring data at much faster speeds, and over longer distances.

The Apple Watch Series 7 was announced during the iPhone 13 event, but it still doesn't have a release date. Apple says the product will ship later in the fall.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    Pacemaker and other medical device connection?
    edited September 23 watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 10
    I think it's amusing the reviewer implies "200 megabits per second" is somehow too slow to be useful? Someone seems to have forgotten that many ethernet networks were until recently maxing out at 100mbits/s, so 200mbits/s is pretty darn fast. Presumably Apple doesn't introduce new hardware like this just for the rare use case of needing to diagnose a watch, so one can assume this is going to be linked to some kind of health monitoring hardware..
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 10
    I'm trying to understand how a 60.5GHz radio offers so much slower performance than 5Gz WiFi.

    For the interested that's a wavelength under 5mm.
    darkvaderwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 10
    Probably just for faster OS updates, but perhaps it would allow the watch to be a sensor input for an AR/VR headset? Particularly if this will involve the wearer being an avatar and interacting with other avatars in a virtual environment.
    radarthekatbadmonkwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 10
    If you're going to design a "portless" product of the future, you'd want to use 60 GHz to do the "closely coupled data transfer".  60 GHz doesn't travel far...but is excellent for high speed, short distance, high data rate transfer over the air.
    williamlondonpatchythepiratecaladanianbadmonkwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 10
    ivanhivanh Posts: 597member
    If the new frequency only works for Apple  not Apple customers, then it’s cost should be taken away from the product price.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 7 of 10
    ivanh said:
    If the new frequency only works for Apple  not Apple customers, then it’s cost should be taken away from the product price.
    Wow, it must be Stupid Comment Friday.
    StrangeDayswilliamlondonbadmonkwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 10
    Pacemaker and other medical device connection?
    From the article:
    "The 60.5GHz module is only activated when connected to a proprietary Wireless Serial Dock."


  • Reply 9 of 10
    loopless said:
    I think it's amusing the reviewer implies "200 megabits per second" is somehow too slow to be useful? Someone seems to have forgotten that many ethernet networks were until recently maxing out at 100mbits/s, so 200mbits/s is pretty darn fast. Presumably Apple doesn't introduce new hardware like this just for the rare use case of needing to diagnose a watch, so one can assume this is going to be linked to some kind of health monitoring hardware..
    Since, according to the article:
    "The 60.5GHz module is only activated when connected to a proprietary Wireless Serial Dock."
    I don't see how this could be used for health monitoring.

    But diagnostics is very much needed since Apple Stores cannot diagnose a watch.  The watch has to be sent back to Apple for any diagnostics -- which is a real pain. 

    For mine, the EKG function stopped working -- which was easily demonstrable.  But still, I had to send it back to Apple for them to run diagnostics on and, based on that, they sent me a replacement (presumably a refurbished watch).   Fortunately I still had my Series 1 which served surprisingly well as temporary substitute -- otherwise I would have gone most of a week without a watch which I use and depend on heavily.

    So:  Apple needs to upgrade their store's ability to diagnose problem with the watch.  Hopefully this will be part of that.


  • Reply 10 of 10
    ivanh said:
    If the new frequency only works for Apple  not Apple customers, then it’s cost should be taken away from the product price.
    Most utterly vapid musings from the eternally butthurt
    GeorgeBMacwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
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