The detection of the washing of the hands is the result of years of work (before the COVID-19)

One of the ads most relevant of WWDC20 was the detection of the washing of the hands of the Apple Watch. Because of the crisis of the coronavirus, all are encouraged to wash their hands more frequently and thoroughly.

Apple has stated, however, that the function of detection of the washing of the hands has not been developed in response to the pandemic, but has required many years of development.

The guidelines of the WHO and the CDC recommend washing your hands for at least 20 seconds and watchOS 7 aims to automatically detect when we wash the hands and to start a countdown of 20 seconds with a lot of animation. If it detects that we stopped to wash the hands before the time runs out, asks us to go forward. For all the info on the function, take a look at our dedicated article.

In a new report, TechCrunch says that it took many years of work.

The washing of hands for the Apple Watch has been happily added to the list of features that are related to COVID-19 introduced by the company during the keynote of WWDC last week.

Unlike other initiatives, the urgent undertaken by the company once the virus has spread, a new feature of the Apple Watch was not built in a few days. The feature was the result of “years of work“, said to TechCrunch, the vice president of technology Kevin Lynch. In typical Apple style, the product was the result of years of trial and error, according to the executive.

The function of the washing of the hands of the Apple Watch is based on three signals:

  • Theaccelerometer is the hardware key here, waiting for the new model that will integrate a specific sensor and a range of different methods, depending on who is actually doing the washing.
  • In addition to the movement, the app listens to the sound of the running water. This could, however, represent a problem, because there are many sinks silent, and the detection may be inaccurate.
  • Another sound used by the function is that of a container of soap that is used.

Currently, watchOS 7 beta 1, the detection of the washing of the hands is not working as it should, but the company is to enhance the function in the next versions.

The Apple Watch could go over and help diagnose the COVID-19? Apple says that it is not doing any research in this field, but is happy to support others who are following this particular path.