According to the Bloomberg news portal, Apple plans to include a standard sleep monitoring feature in a future version of the Apple Watch to make the watch even more appealing to consumers looking for health and fitness features.
Although there are third-party apps on the App Store, such as AutoSleep and Sleep ++, which analyze sleep quality through the accessory, the feature is not offered natively by watchOS.
Apple Watch Series 6?
The website states that the company is running tests in the parent labs in Cupertino, California and that if the results are satisfactory the feature could be added to the Apple Watch in 2020.
This means that the version expected for that year (Series 5) still does not have the feature.
Several brands have been offering sleep analysis features for smart bracelets and watches for years, such as Fitbit (the biggest Apple Watch competitor in the US), Xiaomi and Samsung.
However, many experts question the ability of this type of device to measure advanced stages of sleep, such as R.E.M (Rapid Eye Movement or rapid eye movement), as the analysis is based mainly on the movements that the user performs with his arms during the night.
Manufacturers defend themselves by saying that the products are not intended to replace professional diagnostic methods, but only offer an overview to the user.
It is worth remembering that in May 2017 Apple acquired startup Finnish Beddit, which sells an accessory for monitoring the quality of sleep that should be placed under the sheet at night.
The product currently sold at Apple Stores, but the extent of the team's involvement behind Beddit in the development of the sleep analysis functionality that is being integrated into the Watch is still unknown.
In addition to the quality of the analysis, another challenge that Apple needs to solve in relation to the battery. The company claims that the Series 4 version charge is sufficient for ?all day? and many users reload the watch during the night to use it the next day.
For the accessory to be used while the user sleeps, the battery would have to last longer, have a form of fast charging or consume extremely low levels of energy during sleep monitoring.
The battery in the latest generations of the Apple Watch (Series 3 and 4) is capable of lasting up to two days, depending on use.
Focus on health and fitness
The Apple Watch already offers a number of health and fitness features, such as a very high or very low heart rate detector, a fall detector, a breathing app, a calorie burned during exercise, automatic exercise detection, among others.
Apple does not disclose how many units of the watch have been sold to date, but consultancy Strategy Analytics estimates that the company placed about 4.5 million Apple Watches on the market in the last quarter of last year, which represents 45% of the total.
Traditionally a new version of the Apple Watch announced every year with the new iPhones in September.