Apple introduced WatchOS 4, the newest iteration of the operating system that powers Apple Watch today at WWDC.
There was a big focus on health, with new features coming to the Activity and Workout apps on the watch like a swimming-centric mode and the ability to track back-to-back workouts.
However, the coolest feature may be that with WatchOS 4 your watch will be able to sync directly to gym equipment like treadmills and ellipticals. Apple prefaced this feature by saying that sometimes your gym equipment can better sense data that your Apple Watch can’t, or vice versa. This solution should fix that issue by making sure both devices have access to the most accurate data.
Called Gym Connect, the new feature will work by pairing your watch via an NFC sensor on the equipment. Launching in the fall, partners will include Life Fitness, Cybex, Schwinn, Startrac, Technogym and StairMaster, all whom will be building equipment that support this feature. Together these companies make up the majority of the gym equipment market.
It’s interesting to see Apple be so open about using NFC technology – even though it powers Apple Pay the company typically has refrained from using the NFC terminology when discussing the tech that powers their payment platform.
Gym Connect will launch this wall with WatchOS 4, which will be a free upgrade this fall for all Apple Watch users.