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Apple Invites Retail Employees in Wheelchairs to Test watchOS 3

Apple last week sent out a memo to employees, inviting those in wheelchairs to help the company test an upcoming watchOS 3 feature that adds a dedicated wheelchair mode to the Apple Watch.

With the wheelchair setting, Activity options can be customized for wheelchair users. Wheelchair pushes contribute to all-day calorie goals, there are wheelchair-specific workouts, and the "time to stand" reminders are replaced with "time to roll" reminders.

During the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, Apple said wheelchair tracking had been in development for months through a partnership with the Lakeshore Foundation and the Challenged Athletes Foundation, which saw 300 people in wheelchairs participating in more than 3,000 hours of activity research, and the beta testing period will give Apple more time to refine and perfect the feature.

watchoswheelchair
In its memo to employees, Apple said it is committed to improving the Apple Watch experience for users in wheelchairs, which is why retail employees in wheelchairs are being invited to test watchOS 3. While retail employees have been invited to test iOS and macOS betas in the past, watchOS 3 betas are restricted to developers and internal corporate testers because downgrading from a watchOS beta is not possible without a proprietary adapter.

It is not clear if employees testing the feature are receiving the same watchOS 3 beta updates as developers, but it seems likely. With the retail beta test and developer testing, Apple is hoping to collect more data on movement and better optimize the new wheelchair exercises available in the workout app.

Apple offers some of the best accessibility features available in smartphones, smart watches, and other devices, and along with wheelchair activity tracking, the company's latest operating system updates bring a range of accessibility improvements to iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)


Top Rated Comments

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8 months ago
The wheelchair features of the Apple Watch are a great idea. Well done apple
Rating: 7 Votes
8 months ago
Very good.
Rating: 4 Votes
8 months ago
Apple's unwavering commitment to Accessibility is a truly amazing, and very under-appreciated approach. As a regular user, I absolutely appreciate it. The work they do in this area trickles into usability improvements for everyone.
Rating: 4 Votes
8 months ago

That picture is unfortunate.

The Apple Watch is saying to the wheelchair user to "stand up".


Pretty sure the dub dub presentation said it would change to "Time to roll!" for wheelchair users.
Rating: 3 Votes
8 months ago

This is good stuff. As far as I know, Apple is the only company doing wheelchair fitness tracking now. It always amazes me how much attention Apple pays to accessibility features.

Same! When people don't understand why I love Apple so much, I always say that it's not just because they make the best products (for the most part anyway) it's because no other company will invest nearly as much time and money into things like helping those with disabilities, protecting your privacy, or helping the environment.
Rating: 3 Votes
8 months ago

Pretty sure the dub dub presentation said it would change to "Time to roll!" for wheelchair users.

They did. And the picture here does too. In this rotated and zoomed crop, you can see the word "ROLL"
Rating: 3 Votes
8 months ago

('//www.macrumors.com/2016/06/28/apple-employee-watchos-3-wheelchair-beta-test/')


Apple last week sent out a memo to employees, inviting those in wheelchairs to help the company test an upcoming watchOS 3 feature that adds a dedicated wheelchair mode to the Apple Watch.

With the wheelchair setting, Activity options can be customized for wheelchair users. Wheelchair pushes contribute to all-day calorie goals, there are wheelchair-specific workouts, and the "time to stand" reminders are replaced with "time to roll" reminders.

During the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, Apple said wheelchair tracking had been in development for months through a partnership with the Lakeshore Foundation and the Challenged Athletes Foundation, which saw 300 people in wheelchairs participating in more than 3,000 hours of activity research, and the beta testing period will give Apple more time to refine and perfect the feature.



In its memo to employees, Apple said it is committed to improving the Apple Watch experience for users in wheelchairs, which is why retail employees in wheelchairs are being invited to test watchOS 3. While retail employees have been invited to test iOS and macOS betas in the past, watchOS 3 betas are restricted to developers and internal corporate testers because downgrading from a watchOS beta is not possible without a proprietary adapter.

It is not clear if employees testing the feature are receiving the same watchOS 3 beta updates as developers, but it seems likely. With the retail beta test and developer testing, Apple is hoping to collect more data on movement and better optimize the new wheelchair exercises available in the workout app.

Apple offers some of the best accessibility features ('http://www.apple.com/accessibility/') available in smartphones, smart watches, and other devices, and along with wheelchair activity tracking, the company's latest operating system updates ('//www.macrumors.com/2016/06/15/accessibility-wwdc-2016-roundup/') bring a range of accessibility improvements to iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.

Article Link: Apple Invites Retail Employees in Wheelchairs to Test watchOS 3 ('//www.macrumors.com/2016/06/28/apple-employee-watchos-3-wheelchair-beta-test/')



Me and my wheels would have loved to have been part of this beta! Still waiting to hear about the next step in my Apple retail journey...(in the interviewing process)
Rating: 3 Votes
8 months ago
This is good stuff. As far as I know, Apple is the only company doing wheelchair fitness tracking now. It always amazes me how much attention Apple pays to accessibility features.
Rating: 2 Votes
8 months ago

I never thought how the 10 min to the hour 'stand up' might offend someone in a wheel chair.

Very impressed with apple for improving the watch for wheel chair users.

Offend? No! But funny in a way, nearly every day I wear my watch I´m able to reach the goal.:D
Rating: 2 Votes
8 months ago
I never thought how the 10 min to the hour 'stand up' might offend someone in a wheel chair.

Very impressed with apple for improving the watch for wheel chair users.
Rating: 2 Votes

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