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Explained: All Kinds Of Sensors In Smartwatch, Pros and Cons


Smartwatches these days are loaded with all sorts of sensors but do we know the functioning of all such sensors? Let’s take a look at what work these sensors do in a smartwatch.

- Updated: 3rd May 2023, 13:39 IST
  • 1
    Types of sensors in smartwatches
    • 1. Accelerometer
    • 2. Gyroscope
    • 3. Magnetometer
    • 4. Barometric Pressure Sensor
    • 5. Ambient Temperature Sensor
    • 6. Heart Rate Monitor
    • 7. Oximetry Sensor
    • 8. Skin Conductance Sensor
    • 9. Skin Temperature Sensor
    • 10. GPS
  • 2

Making a switch from the world of keypad phones to the world of smartphones was quite a journey, but now, with the replacement of our analogue/digital watches by smartwatches has gained quite the traction as these smartwatches come with sensors that help keep a check on your health and motivate you to do physical activities as well. These smartwatches also provide a ton of other features, but in today’s article, we will focus on what functions the sensors in the smartwatch provide.

Smartwatches offer tons of features but have you ever asked yourself what do these sensors in a smartwatch do?

Smartwatches are able to perform a ton of functions, but these days people are buying them for their fitness tracking abilities. They are the future of the watch industry and have made it possible for the people out there to stop living a sedentary lifestyle and work hard to keep their health intact.

Some budget-friendly smartwatches may have the bare minimum sensors for you to work with, while the high-end smartwatches are equipped with all the sensors you can ask for. All these sensors and the other material are assembled together to give you a smartwatch.

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Types of sensors in smartwatches

Keeping ourselves healthy is something that needs to be done with utmost discipline and on a regular basis, but maintaining such discipline without the right tools can be a tedious task to do; so, therefore, there are sensors present in today’s smartwatches that can monitor lots of things in your body and provide you with all the relevant date to keep yourself in check.

The sensors that are mounted in the smartwatches can be used to monitor ourselves. A smartwatch is like a virtual doctor that we are able to carry at any place with ease.

Here we have curated a list of all the sensors that you can find on a smartwatch, and we have explained how these sensors work for your benefit-

1. Accelerometer

They are such sensors that help you track the movements of your body by the number of steps you have taken throughout the day. They also tend to track your sleep pattern and then give you insight into ways to improve your sleep hygiene.

Such a sensor measures the amount of resistance that your skin is giving to a small dose of current that the smartwatch sends over your skin in order to track sleeping pattern, heartbeat, level of H20 in your body and whatnot.

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2. Gyroscope

smartwatch sensors

A gyroscope is a sensor on your smartwatch that has a set of algorithms that can quickly tell when you move your wrist to have a peek at your smartwatch. This sensor will turn on your display when you move your wrist.

This sensor also helps in saving your smartwatch’s battery when there is no sort of movement for a long time, as it will turn off the display in such situations.

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3. Magnetometer

smartwatch sensors

A magnetometer is a fancy way to tell that your smartwatch is equipped with a compass sensor. This sensor in your smartwatch can help track your movements and the direction in which you are standing.

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4. Barometric Pressure Sensor

smartwatch sensors

This sensor is there for the reason that it can tell the altitude you are at, which is a piece of important information for someone who does mountain climbing, does cycling on hilly areas or a runner is making his run at an elevated road.

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5. Ambient Temperature Sensor

smartwatch sensor

This sensor in a smartwatch helps in telling the temperature of your body. Such a sensor comes in handy when you want to see how much heat you are dispensing after a strenuous workout.

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6. Heart Rate Monitor

smartwatch sensors

As the name suggests, the sensor tracks the number of beats your heart takes. This sensor tracks it through your pulse and checks at a regular interval, and in case you face any abnormal heartbeat, then it notifies you of the same. The high-end watches even inform your emergency contact if the sensor detects something serious with your heart rate.

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7. Oximetry Sensor

smartwatch sensors

This sensor in a smartwatch can tell the level of oxygen in your blood. It is a helpful sensor for letting the smartwatch user know the correct pulse rate.

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8. Skin Conductance Sensor

smartwatch sensors

This sensor will calculate your galvanic skin response, which refers to any development that can be seen in your sweat contemplating the assertiveness of your emotional condition and helps in statting the number of calories you must have burned throughout the day.

As galvanic skin response sensor detects shifts in the activity of a person from the transformations taking place in sweat glands, the electrodes present in these smartwatches are sensitive to these transformations and able to communicate that information to the smartwatch.

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9. Skin Temperature Sensor

smartwatch sensors

This sensor in your smartwatch helps you when your body temperature rises and which activity leads to it. It basically enables you to understand how exercising too much may lead to a rise in your overall body temperature and when you should halt your activity.

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10. GPS

smartwatch sensors

GPS is a sensor in your smartwatch that helps you track the distance you have covered by running, cycling or whatnot. It also helps you navigate to reach your destination by syncing it with applications on your smartphone.

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What to expect in future smartwatches

We can soon see a new sort of sensor in our smartwatches that will be able to tell blood sugar levels as well. We may be soon able to be seen such innovation in a range of premium smartwatches where such a sensor will be able to fit in the frame of such smartwatches.

You may even find such sensors that will make your smartwatch no less than your go-to doctor. We may also witness such a sensor that will be able to detect blood alcohol levels as well.

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We hope that you have an idea of all the functions that these different sensors provide, and this information helps you narrow down on what all sensors you require in your smartwatch purchase.

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Highlights of the Story

  • Don’t get the working mechanism behind the sensors of the smartwatches?
  • We have made a list of all the sensors you can find on today’s smartwatches and what work they exactly do.

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