Your next Apple Watch could be a personal lifeguard and work out if you're drowning

Apple Watch 5
(Image credit: Future)

The Apple Watch has always been water resistant, but you're not and a future version of the device may be able to help out with that.

A new patent filed by Apple - and spotted by Apple Insider - shows a new tech that would be able to detect water surrounding the watch.

It would be able to monitor the amount of water around the watch in an attempt to work out if you're just in a rainstorm or if you've fallen out of a boat. The tech would then look at your calendar to work out if you're meant to be in water today.

Following that, the tech would then test the water you're surrounded by to work out the sort of situation you're in. It's thought this would then work out if you're in salt water or not.

Then, if the watch does detect it's salt water it would then be able to use your location data to work out where you are. If you're in the middle of a big body of water, it may sense you're in trouble.

If the watch determined that you were in trouble, it would then be able to contact the emergency services on your behalf.

Exactly what will happen then is unclear, but it may work in a similar way to Fall Detection on the Apple Watch where it gives you a 30-second countdown to cancel the emergency services call after detecting you've not moved for a minute.

This patent isn't confirmed to be a feature for an Apple Watch - the patent refers to it as "portable electronic device as health companion" - but it's very likely that's what Apple means by that.

That said, it's very unlikely to be included in the Apple Watch 6. Often companies patent new ideas that never come to fruition, so this may be a new idea that never actually sees the light of day.

A patent spotted earlier this week suggested future Apple Watches may also be able to detect incoming panic attacks. 

Via Phone Arena

James Peckham

James is the Editor-in-Chief at Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.