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Apple Collected Over 18,000 Hours of Health and Fitness Data for Apple Watch

ABC was recently invited to Apple's top-secret health and fitness lab for the Apple Watch for an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the testing facility, accompanied by Apple executives Jeff Williams and Jay Blahnik. The network shared a preview of its visit on Good Morning America earlier today, and has now provided a closer look at the facility on the latest episode of late night show Nightline.

The five-minute interview behind closed doors revealed that Apple collected over 18,000 hours of health and fitness data based on over 10,000 workout sessions that Apple employees participated in over the past two years at the company's secretive fitness lab. Blahnik, director of fitness and health technologies at Apple, also confirmed that the company tested the Apple Watch outdoors based on a variety of activities.

Lower-quality YouTube video available for viewing outside the United States

Apple Watch will be available April 24, with pre-orders starting April 10 in the first wave of launch countries: United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and United Kingdom. The wrist-worn device starts at $349 for the Apple Watch Sport, while the stainless steel models will retail for between $549 to $1,099 and the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition will cost up to $17,000.

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

Top Rated Comments

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25 months ago
Solid homework. Nothing surprising here..... reminds me of that glimpse into Apple's wireless/cellular testing lab they revealed after the ruckus about the so called "antenna gate"..... God, I hate that word.....
Rating: 31 Votes
25 months ago
Try to imagine Samsung running 10,000 1–2 hour test sessions in a secret fitness lab over two years. Not very believable, is it? Neither the extreme pursuit of quality and usefulness, nor being years AHEAD of the industry instead of following 2 months behind the latest rumor about Apple...

I don't know if/when I'll want an Apple Watch, but I do know Apple goes way beyond the halfway spaghetti-on-the-wall product development practiced by the competition.
Rating: 24 Votes
25 months ago
This is all for marketing and PR nonsense.

"Oh look, people running on machines. How amazing our product therefore is."

...or not.
Rating: 23 Votes
25 months ago
Pretty cool, but expected. As a tech company as prestigious as Apple, you have to test it and perfect it otherwise your reputation will suffer.
Rating: 19 Votes
25 months ago

I wouldn't never expect Samsung to test a product like this, they just release crap and keep releasing different products till they get it right. So good on you Apple on the effort to get a good product out the first time...

I still won't buy it though.... maybe when Apple drops the price or adds more sensors to make it worth that price point...

10 bucks a new watch strap connector comes out in 2 years and makes all those over priced straps useless.... Jono ivey will come out and say.. all new thin connector so we can make the thinnest watch ever, saving 1mm and ****ing all you over. thank you for dropping 500 dollars on your old useless strap...
Rating: 13 Votes
25 months ago

It's the same tech as all the wrist worn HRMs as far as anyone knows until someone takes it apart and says otherwise. Did they say if it does all day HRM or only for activities?

True, but until someone takes it apart it's also far superior tech to all previous wrist-worn HRMS, as far as anyone knows.
Rating: 8 Votes
25 months ago

Lol, this is Macrumors. I would be surprised if some douche didn't bash Samsung, Google or any of the other Android manufacturers.

"Douche"? You mean like the douches who could care less about Apple but come to Macrumors just to antagonize.

I don't know whether the Apple Watch will be a marketing success. I don't know whether it will check enough boxes in performance and function. I do know that Apple has done an awful lot of design and testing in bringing their smartwatch to the playing field. None of the other full feature devices have hit the mark yet but many of them were rushed to market in what appeared to be an effort to scoop Apple.
Rating: 8 Votes
25 months ago
BS this things among other health gadgets are useless, there is no biometric technology yet. they act like a reminders at best.
Rating: 8 Votes
25 months ago

18,000 hours... that's one serious work out..

I can't wait until a report comes out that says "Apple has secretly being tracking your heath and fitness stats."

Allot of users face's would be the same color as the Apple t-shirts.

Blue??? Why would they turn blue?
Rating: 8 Votes
25 months ago

It wouldn't be "superior" because visually we can see the same LED based HRM sensor, even down to the same green lights as the Fitbit Surge/MS Band etc.

Unless there is some brand new never been seen or announced before tech in it (which Apple would have surely tooted their own horn about) it's the absolute safest bet that it's a tech that is "equal to", rather than "greater or less than" what is already on the market.


2 years? I bet the next gen watch will have a new design that needs a new strap.

Considering how much variance there is in the HRM in between those supposedly all similar wrist worn monitors, many not working all that well, I'd say that the actual implementation matters A LOT. So, it isn't that simple.

The Gear fit, and many other watches or bands basically can't measure your heart rate post exercise even if you stop running as per link down here.

Reading heart rate from the wrist while moving is also a big problem.
Skin tone is in general a big issue.

Ironically, the S5 which has a fingertip sensor is very accurate (though you wouldn't want to hold on in that awkward position while you run..).

In fact, calibration of result from wrist will be very tricky to give good result. This is were testing in many conditions, possibly even varying the light intensity vs those conditions, comes in.

Also, notice that the Apple watch doesn't lie flat on the wrist like many other watches, but have this smaller round bulge that slightly digs into the wrist. I'm thinking there is a reason for that.


I'm neither a mathematician nor a statistician, so I'm willing to be shown why my skepticism is way off base by somebody who is an expert in statistics.

But it doesn't seem to me that the numbers are all that significant, especially when the data from those 10,000 workouts was collected over a two-year period. That's only an average of 13 workouts per day.

I would think that for the data to be useful, one would need to study the workouts of hundreds, maybe even thousands, of test subjects, and that would amount to considerably more than 18,000 hours of data.

Again, I'm not an expert in this area, so maybe the figures really are significant. I would love somebody who is to enlighten me.

EDIT: Or, perhaps the phrase "workout sessions" refers not to individual workouts, but workouts featuring several people all at once. In that case, "10,000 workout sessions" could mean "120,000 individual workouts" if a dozen people were being studied at the same time. Still, the 18,000-hour figure seems rather small to me.

In statistics, if your sampling is representative of the population you want info on, you need a lot less than that number of sessions to make it meaningful. The difficult part is the sampling and clearly defining what your testing. They probably have quite a bit of background info on a huge pool of potential subjects/Apple employees even before they send them to the tests.
Rating: 7 Votes

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