On Tuesday, September 10, Apple is going to host an event at the Steve Jobs Theater at headquarters and announce new products. That includes the oft-rumored iPhone 11 lineup, but it may also include the Apple Watch Series 5. And the new smartwatch could feature a highly requested (and rumored) new feature on board.
According to a report this week from 9to5Mac, based on information gathered from unnamed sources, Apple is currently developing a sleep tracking feature for the Apple Watch. One that would not require any special additional hardware to work, so it would rely solely on the watch itself. The publication states that while this is still in development, it’s possible that Apple could unveil the feature on September 20 at the “by innovation only” event, and the feature could launch with the upcoming Apple Watch Series 5 lineup.
The new feature — codenamed “Burrito” internally and called “Time in Bed tracking” — will allow users to choose to wear Apple Watch to bed. If the user has more than one Apple Watch, they can pick one to be their designated bedtime Watch.
While asleep, the Apple Watch will track the user’s quality of sleep using its multiple sensors and inputs, including the person’s movement, heart rate, and noises. Data about the user’s quality of sleep will be made available in the Health app and a new Sleep app for the Apple Watch.
But, battery life has to be a factor here. Most Apple Watch owners have probably become accustomed to wearing the watch during the day and charging it at night, making sure it’s ready to go for the next day of use. But sleep tracking would require the owner wearing it all night.
Interestingly, Apple has figured out a strange way to address this: a notification letting the owner know they should charge the watch before they go to bed. So to make this feature a reality, it sounds like Apple is hoping people will wear the watch during the day as they normally would, take it off when they get home to charge for awhile, and then put it back on when they go to sleep — forcing them to charge it at least a little bit the next morning.
And here’s what happens once the Apple Watch owner does go to bed with the smartwatch strapped to their wrist:
When wearing the Watch during bedtime, if the user wakes up and starts their day before their alarm goes off, it will automatically turn off the alarm. The alarm will also play only on Apple Watch, using the iPhone as a backup. There will also be an option to use a silent alarm that only vibrates the Apple Watch. The new bedtime system will enable Do Not Disturb automatically when the user goes to bed. There will also be a new complication available for sleep tracking.
As far as whether or not this new feature will be available only on the rumored Series 5, or also available in earlier models like the Series 4, remains to be seen. It’s also possible that Apple does not actually announce the new feature on September 10, so don’t get your hopes up too high.
As it stands, Apple is rumored to announce the Apple Watch Series 5 next week with a return of the ceramic case, and a brand new titanium option. Otherwise, it’s been reported that the new features will be “muted” in the grand scheme of things as the company aims to focus on the new case options.
Still, a sleep tracking option is certainly wanted by many. If Apple does launch the feature with the new Apple Watch models, will you upgrade?