Apple quietly published a patent for the new waterproofing technology in April of this year, which now makes sense given watchOS9’s advanced fitness metrics and multisport capabilities.
The patent, which we covered at the time it was published, shows a ‘smart water detector’ that uses a thin membrane to detect whether water has entered the device. This system would be more accurate than Apple’s current water resistance technology, allowing it to turn off or run water ejection programs automatically.
The Apple Watch Series 7 currently has a water resistance rating of 50 meters under ISO 22810:2010 (opens in new tab). In theory, the new water detection systems would allow Apple Watch users to dive to even greater depths or spend even more time in the water with greater safety.
Based on what we’ve seen in watchOS9, it looks like Apple is entering the adventure watch space, taking on the likes of Casio G-Shock and Garmin. We’ve already written about Apple’s move into the Garmin space with its run metrics.
However, we’re now seeing the bigger picture with that nearly forgotten patent and watchOS9’s new multisport option for triathletes that would allow you to seamlessly switch between swimming, cycling and running.
Apple is also implementing a SWOLF score for swimmers, which tracks a stroke count combined with the time, in seconds, it takes to swim a length of a standard pool.
It looks like Apple has brain water this round, and it could be gearing up for some real adventures. Of course, the biggest barrier to this is that Apple Watches are sleek, expensive, and significantly less durable than rough Garmins and virtually indestructible G-Shocks.
Wrapping up in something suitably shock-absorbing with a military aesthetic would be a new direction for the Apple Watch 8. Apple is no stranger to releasing limited-edition watches like the Nike colorways for the Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch 7. .
A rugged Apple Watch with a carbon fiber, rubber or stainless steel case could be just the thing to continue the movement in this new direction.