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WWDC 2019: Apple Watch looks after a health aspect that we often ignore

Our hearing is an important health aspect that is often ignored. While we pay particular attention to our sugar intake, we exercise regularly to stay in shape, we very rarely take care of our hearing. And because hearing loss happens gradually, often, when we realise that our hearing is not as good as it used to be, it’s already too late.

I ride motorcycles and being exposed to high levels of noise for a prolonged period while riding motorcycles have made me realise how much damage my hearing is subjected to.

Even if you’re not a motorcyclist, we often don’t realise how much our hearing is bombarded with noise. While prolonged exposure to loud noise can irreparably damage your hearing, constant exposure to low-level noises can do damage too.

I’m really happy then that Apple has added a new app for its upcoming watchOS 6 to help monitor sound levels and alert the user when a sound is too loud and can cause damage to your hearing.

The Noise app takes advantage of the Apple Watch’s position on the wrist and monitors sound levels in real time especially in environments such as concerts and sporting events that could negatively impact hearing.

The app sends a notification if the decibel level is high enough that it can impact hearing. It also provides additional details on how the sound level can affect your hearing.

Apple is quick to point out that while the Noise app uses the built-in microphone on the Apple Watch to monitor sound levels, the app does not record or save your audio.

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The Apple Watch Noise app will be available with watchOS 6 coming in the fourth quarter of this year. WatchOS 6 and the Noise app is compatible with Apple Watch series 1 and above paired to the iPhone 6s or later iPhone models.

Amin Ashaari