Apple Watch 3 might be able to measure your respiration rate

The Apple Watch and Apple Watch 2 are in part health and fitness tracking devices, but each is somewhat limited in those areas. Improvements to the next generation are sure to change that though and Apple may soon give the watch the ability to measure your respiration rate.

In a patent spotted by Patently Apple, Apple outlines a system it calls “Measuring Respiration Rate with Multi-Band Plethysmography.”

Like many patents, it gets quite technical, but the gist of it is a system which would obtain a photoplethysmogram (PPG) signal from a pulse oximeter, using a light emitter and a light sensor to measure the perfusion of blood to the skin of a user.

That’s not a new idea as such, but doing this while there’s movement in the body can compromise the heart rate signal, and Apple’s patent looks to solve that problem by using two light sensors rather than one, then subtracting one from the other to remove any noise from the signal.

Wrist-worn readings

If that works, then Apple should be able to get accurate readings, and more importantly the patent mentions that this device could be worn on your wrist, suggesting it might one day be built into the Apple Watch.

Could this make it into the Apple Watch 3? Perhaps. There are all sorts of rumored features for Apple’s next wearable, including sleep tracking and even glucose monitoring. We’d say respiration rate is probably one of the more ambitious and therefore less likely rumors, but wouldn’t rule it out.

And if not on the Apple Watch 3 there’s always the Apple Watch 4 or 5.