How dance got involved in Apple Watch exercises

In the fall of 2020, Apple added the Dance category among the activities that can be analyzed by the Apple Watch. A novelty that required the design of a tailor-made algorithm to take into account the variety of possible movements.

In an article published internally, Apple first explained the difficulty in accurately calculating caloric expenditure for hip movements or body rotation. They are more complicated to measure than simple movements of the wrist, or of the body in general, during running, cycling or weightlifting activities, for example.

Exercise allows you to work on solo or couple dances, social or more sporty

To reduce the range of possibilities and the difficulty, the most common types of dances have been selected to model these algorithms: Zumba, hip-hop; bollywood, cardio (or aerobics). Activities that involve a heterogeneity in gestures, with body and arm movements that are not necessarily synchronized.

One of the reasons dancing is so difficult is that unlike running or walking, where the frequency of arm movements can tell you how the whole body is moving, you cannot observe only the movement of the wrist, and deduce how the rest of the body acts explained one of the Core Motion team members.

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