News: Apple Watch Will Soon Track Fitness for Wheelchair Users

 topic-apple-watch-allHi everybody!! Today’s news post is from Apple.  They announced about a week ago updates and new features to appear in the new iOS 10 and Apple Watch OS 3.0 release later this fall.  Apple has noticed in the past that not a lot of fitness applications and equipment cater to wheelchair users, and they want to change that.  Apple’s COO, Jeff Williams said, that this isn’t about sales or marketing opportunities but Apple wants to serve every walk of life.  In that giving wheelchair users the same opportunity to get fit and healthier. 

Apple, reached out to and began working with two groups that promote physical fitness in the disabled community.  They were The Lakeshore Foundation of Birmingham, AL and the Challenged Athletes Foundation of San Diego.  Both foundations recruited about 300 people each to do 3,000 hours of activity for their research.  Lakeshore’s CEO, Jeff Underwood, says that having a device won’t make anyone fit but it will send a message that inactivity shouldn’t be the norm.  So, the new Apple Watch interface will prompt people in wheelchairs to wheel or spin their chairs around regularly. Apple will also start tracking distance, speed and calories burned during wheelchair use, just as it does for walking or running.  To do this Apple had to start from scratch because past scientific studies on calorie burning didn’t include wheelchair subjects.  They also had to take into account different factors such as type of disability, wheeling style, seat and wheel height, as well as, different types of terrain. 

 

I’m interested to see what happens and if this will be as effective as they think.  Will Fit Bit and the Samsung Gear S2 follow suit? What does everyone think? Comment below..

 

For more on this story please check out http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/apple-watch-track-fitness-wheelchair-users-39822112

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