Samsung might not be able to revolutionize its upcoming smartwatch model with thermometer functions. Rumors about the Galaxy Watch 5 possibly introducing a body temperature sensor emerged last month, but the feature might not be ready for prime time this year.
Reportedly, Samsung is having difficulties coding the temperature-reading algorithm that's necessary to enable the hardware sensors and deliver accurate readings.
Interestingly, Samsung isn't the only smartwatch manufacturer to have come face-to-face with this challenge. Apple was supposed to add a thermometer feature to the Watch 7 series released last year, but the company had to push back its plans because its temperature-reading algorithm wasn't ready (via @mingchikuo).
It's no coincidence that both companies are reportedly facing similar issues, but Apple may have a head-start over Samsung and beat the company to the finish line this year.
Apple might beat Samsung to the punch with the Watch 8
Although the Apple Watch 8 series and the Galaxy Watch 5 will be very different in terms of design and specs, the method Apple and Samsung are using to add body temperature-reading capabilities to their next-gen wearables appears to be similar.
The challenge they're facing relates to the fact that surface skin temperature can vary depending on external factors. Both Samsung and Apple are working with non-intrusive hardware that's only capable of reading surface temperatures, so they're both trying to develop clever algorithms to compensate for these variations and allow their smartwatches to take accurate readings.
Unfortunately for Samsung fans, the latest rumor suggests that the Korean tech giant won't be able to finish development in time for the Galaxy Watch 5, which means the thermometer feature could get pushed back a year and debut with the Galaxy Watch 6 (tentative name).
Meanwhile, the same source says Apple may have solved the puzzle and might be the first to bring this feature to the market with the Watch 8 series.
Perhaps Samsung will equip the Galaxy Watch 5 with the necessary temperature-reading hardware and enable the feature through a firmware update later down the line, once the algorithm is fully developed. The company activated the ECG feature on previous Galaxy Watch models in a similar manner via updates.
Then again, Samsung may have to reserve the hardware for the Galaxy Watch 6, which means the feature won't be coming this year. Either way, we'll keep you posted. The Galaxy Watch 5 will likely be unveiled in August.
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