Apple is researching developments focusing on strain gauge sensors. It’s believed that the Cupertino company has plans to make advancements to the strength training tracking capabilities of the Apple Watch.
Job listings found on the ‘Career at Apple’ page show the company is searching for engineers with “exposure to analog electronics, preferably mechatronic systems utilizing actuators, temperature sensors, strain gauges, and photodiodes.” These engineers will report to Apple’s Health Technologies division.
Apple is aiming to hire engineers that are able to design, test, build, and troubleshoot prototypes of new health-related hardware. Additionally, the role requires the engineer to work with “cross-functional teams to collect sensor and system performance data and interpret results.”
One of the few sensors the Apple Watch does not feature is a strain gauge sensor. Theoretically, this gauge can measure the resistance when force is applied. Data can then be evaluated electronically to provide further analysis and results for the user. Alongside, an actuator, temperature sensor, and photodiodes, strain gauge sensors can be used to bolster the Apple Watch.
The strength training tracking support of Apple Watch is very limited, almost non-existent. Those who routinely do any sort of strength training have to rely on heart rate monitoring, active calories burned, and duration of the workout to have any sort of data. Much like many other fitness wearables and apps, strength training support is sorely lacking.
The introduction of strain gauge sensors could theoretically bring support for the tracking of reps, weight thresholds, and total sets. All of this data could be used to better provide a well-rounded report within the Workout app. As of now, this is largely where cardio workouts, which include running and swimming, excel.