Future Apple Watch Might Throw a Lifeline with Drowning Alerts, Hints Patent

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Apple may be planning to add a feature to future Apple Watches that could help prevent drowning, according to a patent filed by Cupertino, which suggests the watch would use its sensors to detect unusual behavior while swimming.

Reports suggest that it could be coming to the upcoming and much-anticipated Apple Watch X or Apple Watch 10 (depending upon how Apple brands it, because it will mark the 10th anniversary of Apple Watch), among other enhancements such as better display and a longer battery life.

According to a newly published patent last month, the company has shared tidbits of not only how this feature would work, but also why it’s need of the hour. It mentions, “Every year more than 3,500 people in the United States die from drowning,” and that drowning is 5th most common cause of “accidental death in the country.”

Apple Watch Drowning Alerts Patent

Furthermore, it mentions that the new feature to save people from drowning doesn’t need extra sensors. Instead, it uses the ones already in the Apple Watch to keep an eye out for signs of trouble when someone is swimming, like drowning. The main sensor it relies on is the one that detects movement, like if someone’s head, arms, and body are acting fishy underwater.

Using the Watch’s sensors, it also keeps tabs on the heart rate and blood oxygen levels. And if it notices a sudden change that could mean someone is in danger of drowning, it uses a special program to take a stab at whether they are. If it thinks someone is in trouble, it can shoot a message for help to emergency services, nearby people, and lifeguards. The company also says it could warn if a child dives in over their head. But right now, it’s just an idea waiting for approval.

Of course, if this feature comes through, it could make the Apple Watch a perfect companion for especially the elderly, because, in recent years, the Watch has boasted some useful features like fall detection that notifies emergency service if one meets with an unfortunate incident like a bike accident or a car crash.


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