Apple Supplier Rockley Photonics Unveils Health Tracking Tech Likely to Come to Apple Watch

Rockley Photonics, an Apple supplier, has today unveiled an advanced digital sensor system that is likely to come to the Apple Watch to enable a wide range of new health tracking features.

RPS Wristband Reverse Side
The company today revealed a full-stack, "clinic-on-the-wrist" digital health sensor system, enabling wearable devices to monitor multiple biomarkers, including core body temperature, blood pressure, body hydration, alcohol, lactate, and glucose trends, and more.

The technology uses a miniaturized chip solution with optical sensors that provide continuous, non-invasive monitoring of various biomarkers, in an attempt to overcome many of the challenges associated with wearable health monitoring and avoid the need for invasive sensors that must perforate the skin.

Many wearables use green LEDs to monitor heart rate, but Rockley's sensor uses infrared spectrophotometers that can detect and monitor a much wider range of biomarkers to dramatically increase the functionality of wearable devices. The sensor generates lasers to non-invasively probe beneath the skin to analyze blood, interstitial fluids, and layers of the dermis for specific constituents and physical phenomena.

Rockley is initially launching its full-stack sensing solution as a wristband that contains the sensor module and communicates with an app and it will be used in a number of human studies in the coming months, but the company suggested that its sensor module and associated reference designs, including hardware and application firmware, will be available for other consumer products.

series6leds
Earlier this year, it was revealed that Apple is the largest customer of Rockley Photonics. The company's filings said that Apple accounted for the majority of its revenue over the last two years and that it has an ongoing "supply and development agreement" with the company, under which it expects to continue to heavily rely on Apple for most of its revenue.

Given the growth of Rockley Photonics and the scale of Apple's partnership with the company, it seems to be highly likely that the company's health sensor technology will be coming to the Apple Watch sooner rather than later, providing the technology lives up to expectations. Rockley has previously said that its sensors could be in consumer smartwatches and other electronics as soon as next year, which could align with the launch of Apple Watch Series 8 models.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 9
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

Popular Stories

Apple Intelligence General Feature

Apple Intelligence Features Not Coming to European Union at Launch Due to DMA

Friday June 21, 2024 9:44 am PDT by
Apple today said that European customers will not get access to the Apple Intelligence, iPhone Mirroring, and SharePlay Screen Sharing features that are coming to the iPhone, iPad, and Mac this September due to regulatory issues related to the Digital Markets Act. In a statement to Financial Times, Apple said that there will be a delay as it works to figure out how to make the new...
iOS 18 on iPhone Feature

Everything New in iOS 18 Beta 2

Monday June 24, 2024 12:52 pm PDT by
Apple today released the second betas of iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 to developers, and the software adds support for new features that Apple is working on, plus it tweaks some of the interface changes that have been made in the updates. Apple will refine iOS 18 over the course of the next few months, with multiple changes and refinements expected from now until September. We've highlighted...
Apple WWDC24 Apple Intelligence hero 240610

Apple Explains iPhone 15 Pro Requirement for Apple Intelligence

Wednesday June 19, 2024 4:48 am PDT by
With iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia, Apple is introducing a new personalized AI experience called Apple Intelligence that uses on-device, generative large-language models to enhance the user experience across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. These new AI features require Apple's latest iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models to work, while only Macs and iPads with M1 or later chips will...
amazon echo dot

Amazon Could Charge Up to $10/Month for Alexa

Friday June 21, 2024 2:55 pm PDT by
Apple competitor Amazon is working on a revamp of its Alexa assistant, and the new version could cost up to $10 per month, according to a report from Reuters. The upcoming version of Alexa will support conversational generative AI, and Amazon is planning for two tiers of service. There will be a free tier and a second, premium tier that is priced at $5 at a minimum, with Amazon considering...
top stories 22jun2024

Top Stories: Apple Watch X Rumors, New Final Cut App for iPhone, and More

Saturday June 22, 2024 6:00 am PDT by
The avalanche of news coming out of WWDC earlier this month is finally starting to slow, but that doesn't mean there wasn't still lots to talk about in Apple news and rumors this week. This week saw some additional rumors about the upcoming Apple Watch models, the release of major Final Cut Pro updates, the launch of Apple's annual Back to School promo in the U.S. and Canada, new...

Top Rated Comments

ChaosHex Avatar
39 months ago
This is fantastic. As a diabetic, avoiding needles but still seeing my continuous blood sugar trends would be an absolute dream. FreestyleLibre costs upwards of $80 or more per unit, every two weeks… Ludicrous!
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rpmurray Avatar
39 months ago
Why hasn't Apple acquired the company yet?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wanha Avatar
39 months ago

Translation: Even shorter battery life. o_O
A pessimist is never disappointed.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Macintosh IIvx Avatar
39 months ago

I was thinking of upgrading my Series 4 in September/October with the upcoming Series 7, but I'll probably hold off until Series 8 if this additional functionality will be present. Not sure about "...The sensor generates lasers to non-invasively probe beneath the skin..." though!
There is absolutely ZERO guarantee the Series 8 will have it. Not is there any the Series 9 will. I wouldn't bet on it.

I'm still upgrading my Series 4 this year to the 7. If the 8 is really that groundbreaking then it'll be worth the upgrade cost from the 7 (and the 7 should still have a decent trade-in price to make up much of the difference).
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SurferPup Avatar
39 months ago
I can't wait for the  Watch that monitors my blood alcohol content and Siri advises, "Warning, SurferPup you are about to pass out and by the way: your pants are still down."



Attachment Image
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
orbital~debris Avatar
39 months ago
I am so here for the WATCH Infrared Spectrophotometer Edition!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)