The 20 second rule automated for your entertainment
With the new update, WatchOS 7, at the WWDC 2020 event, Apple announced a handful of significant updates to its product line. Many were unexpected and some where …yawn, but one in particular was, well, funny but not in a bad way. Apple Watch will do something that no other wearable device has yet to do, automatically detect hand-washing.
Why is this important? Well, hopefully most of us know that washing your hands can greatly help to prevent the spread of germs and protect yourself from getting sick. On a daily we are touching multiple surfaces and while we are all still actively in a pandemic with COVID-19, practicing good hygiene is a major key to lowering your risk as well as to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
So even though it’s totally obvious we should wash our hands, particularly as we are reminded constantly in the media, it is more than an appropriate for us all to go back to the basics. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing hands for least 20 seconds. The old trick of singing the “Happy Birthday” song twice is effective. But with the new watchOS 7 update, there will no longer be any guessing as to whether or not you’ve washed your hands for the recommended amount of time.
The Apple Watch will utilize motion sensors and on-device machine learning along with the microphone to automatically detect when you’re washing your hands. Once your watch detects you’re washing (hand motions coupled with sounds of running water and soap suds) – a 20-second timer will begin a countdown. If you happen to stop earlier than the 20 second mark, you will be prompted by haptic feedback (vibrations) to tell you to continue washing. When a successful 20 second hand washing session has happened, your watch will give you a nice message of “Well Done”. Your Apple Watch will also be able to remind you to wash your hands when you get home.
In case you missed it: here’s the breakdown courtesy of the CDC
Again, going back to the basics, here are five simple steps based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations to washing your hands the correct way:
- Wet hands with clean running water and apply soap.
- Lather hands by rubbing them together with soap – including the backs of your hand, between your fingers and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- Rinse your hands under clean running water.
- Dry your hands.
Being able to rely on your Apple Watch to ensure you are keeping your hands properly washed and having good hygiene is an added health bonus, that again, while during a pandemic – is not only good for staying healthy but can also protect those around you. Hopefully next year a feature like this one will not be necessary and we can return to more exciting uses for our bionic time piece.
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