Your Garmin watch can finally track skin temperature

Woman checking sports watch before run
(Image credit: Getty Images)

After much speculation, Garmin is finally rolling out a software update that brings night time skin temperature sensing to your wrist. The new feature is available now in a new beta software update for the Garmin Venu 3 and its smaller counterpart, the Venu 3S.

As Notebookcheck explains, public beta update 8.23 is available now, and adds nightly skin temperature to the sleep widget in the Garmin Connect mobile app. Measuring it at night is important, because it'll be less affected by external factors like ambient temperature.

It's not yet clear how Garmin will use this data, but trends in night time skin temperature can tell you a lot about what's going on inside your body. For example, a rise in overnight skin temperature can indicate that you're recovering from a particularly high exercise load, and you need more time before you're ready for the next high intensity session.

Although your Garmin watch isn't a medical device, and can't be used to diagnose or treat any conditions, it could give you an early warning that something might be wrong. A 2020 study published in Nature found that heart rate, sleep time, and step count data from smartwatches was effective at predicting Covid-19 infection before the onset of symptoms, and a 2022 literature review published in The Lancet concluded that skin temperature was also a useful early indicator of infection.

Wearable skin temperature sensors can also help you track your menstrual cycle, giving you a more reliable way to predict ovulation and your period than simply using a calendar app that assumes regularity. 

Ref shift, running dynamics and more

It's been an extremely busy year for Garmin, but the Venu 3 was one of the most exciting new arrivals. It was the first Garmin watch to ship with the company's new advanced Sleep Coaching, plus the ability to track naps. Its new suite of recovery features also includes an enhanced Body Battery widget, which shows the factors that have affected your energy level throughout the day, helping you better understand the impacts of your lifestyle.

Other new additions included with the beta update include a nap glance that you can see on your watch face, wrist-based run power and running dynamics, a workouts app, and the red shift control, which changes the color of the AMOLED display in low light conditions. You can set it to red, green, or orange to avoid disturbing your night vision. Check out the full release notes on Garmin's forums.

I'm currently testing the Venu 3S, and will hopefully be able to install the update and try it out very soon (particularly that nap glance).

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.