Apple is looking for a new engineer for its Health Technologies team who has experience with strain gauges, along with other hardware presumably for future Apple Watch.
The filing suggests that the company plans to equip Apple Watch with strain gauges to accurately track strength training workouts in the Workout app.
With a strain gauge, Apple Watch would measure muscular loads during weightlifting
Posted on July 28, 2023, the job listing states that the tech giant is looking for engineers with “exposure to analog electronics, preferably mechatronic systems utilizing actuators, temperature sensors, strain gauges, and photodiodes” who will help in designing, building, testing, and troubleshooting the early prototype “health hardware”.
- Mechanical design for consumer electronic devices
- Experience designing, manufacturing, and troubleshooting early prototype hardware
- Exposure to analog electronics, preferably mechatronic systems utilizing actuators, temperature sensors, strain gauges, or photodiodes
- Academic or Industrial research related to health/physiological signal sensing
- Intellectual versatility – we typically work on new technology and features, which means we are constantly learning about new domains
Strain sensors detect strain on an object or material surface by measuring variations in electrical resistance when force is applied like in strength training. The gauges are also used to monitor blood pressure in a non-invasion method.
The latest Apple Watch models already feature temperature sensors, photodiodes, and an actuator but not a strain gauge. Therefore, the Workout app in watchOS does not accurately measure weights, reps, and sets during weightlifting or strength training to calculate muscular loads.
Currently, the Workout app calculates active calories based on users’ age, weight, height, heart rate, and duration of exercise which are suitable for tracking running, cycling, HITT, rowing, and other aerobic workouts, not strength training.
Previously, it was reported that Apple would launch non-invasion blood pressure tracking tech in Apple Watch in 2024. The feature was expected to debut in Apple Watch Series 8 in 2022 but was delayed due to development issues related to accuracy. Strain gauges are also used to monitor blood pressure.