Apple Watch handwashing detection was years in development

published 29.06.2020 15:45

by NordVPN from

Handwashing for the Apple Watch happily slotted alongside face masks for Memojis in the list of COVID-19-related features the company introduced at last week’s WWDC keynote […] Unlike other rush initiatives undertaken by the company once the virus hit, however, the forthcoming Apple Watch handwashing app wasn’t built overnight.

Sounds used to detect handwashing are not automatically recorded or saved by the Health app or Apple Watch.

In a first-of-its-kind innovation for a wearable, Apple Watch uses the motion sensors, microphone, and on-device machine learning to automatically detect handwashing motions and sounds.

But the handwashing detection feature wasn’t developed hastily in response, says Apple, but was rather years in development … WHO and CDC guidelines recommend handwashing for at least 20 seconds, and watchOS 7 aims to automatically detect when you’re washing your hands, and to start a 20-second countdown timer with a cute animation.

The Apple Watch handwashing feature relies on three cues.