Ahead of the Apple Watch launch on Friday, Apple has published a new support page going over the Watches heart rate monitor. We know that the Apple Watch tracks your heart rate when you’re doing a workout and every periodically throughout the day. Using the Heart Rate Glance, the user can check their heart rate as many times as they please. The Watch is also capable of determining the amount of calories burned per day using intensity data recorded during workouts.
The support document notes that the Apple Watch will be recording your heart rate every 10 minutes. This data will be recorded in the in-house Health app for viewing this data at a later date and for third-party iPhone app support.
The Watch has incredible software features, but the hardware is just as great. Apple also has a diagram of how the Apple Watch should be worn for the best accuracy.
The function on the Watch isn’t perfect either. To get an accurate reading, Apple recommends having the Watch close to your skin. Obviously, other aspects of the human body can negatively effect the Watches reading of the heart rate, as Apple claims.
A fancy way of describing how much blood flows through your skin, skin perfusion varies significantly from person to person and can also be impacted by the environment. If you’re exercising in the cold, for example, the skin perfusion in your wrist may be too low for the heart rate sensor to get a reading. Motion is another factor. Rhythmic movements, such as running or cycling, give better results compared to irregular movements, like tennis or boxing.
Will you be able to reliably trust the Apple Watch reading your heart rate?