TECH

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in Apple Vision Pro don't overload your brain

Apple Vision Pro

The people you'd expect to complain about RF are at it again, but don't. listen to them — Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on Apple Vision Pro won't ruin your brain.

We've talked about this before, over and over, over and over. Radiofrequency (RF) radiation is not the same as ionizing radiation, which comes from the decay of radioactive isotopes and the Sun itself. In short, radio frequencies lack the energy that ionizing radiation needs to break chemical bonds, ionize atoms, and damage DNA.

We'll put it simply: Apple Vision Pro is not radioactive, and nothing in it undergoes any significant radiological decay.

What it does have are radio frequency transmitters in the form of very low power Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips in the device. They both transmit and receive radio frequency radiation.

The word “radiation” sounds scary if you don’t know anything about it. It's also easy to rant unnecessarily on social media or YouTube to anger your like-minded followers.

Extremely high levels of radiofrequency radiation, many times higher than the capabilities of the Apple Vision Pro, can heat tissue — which you practically see in the interior of the microwave oven — and may cause tissue damage. But these levels are not available to the public using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or wireless technologies.

The microwave oven generates significantly more radiation than the Apple Vision Pro.

The only people who should be concerned about exposure to high RF power are typically workers in close proximity to a very powerful transmitter, such as cellular antenna climbers or military radar workers.

Apple Vision Pro users don't have to worry about radio frequencies. That's why.

AppleInsider, why Do you have the right to say this?

We can talk about this because I have a lot of practical training and experience in limiting radiation exposure. In the US Submarine Navy, one of my jobs was to measure, monitor and evaluate exposure to ionizing radiation.

As part of this training, both early and late in my career, I was trained not only in this, but also in monitoring and controlling exposure to radio frequency transmissions from high power transmitters.

Additionally, since almost everything Apple has made since the original AirPort products launched has some sort of radio transmitter, we've talked to many, many doctors about this in the post. In addition to doctors, I spoke with real authorities on the subject, with over 25 years of experience in the field of radiation physics.

And what the World Health Organization says about this is clear and easy to read. Here's the conclusion:

Given the very low exposure levels and research collected to date, there is no conclusive scientific evidence that weak RF signals from base stations and wireless networks cause adverse health effects.

This is a repeated instruction from WHO. for many years and is updated periodically. It was last updated with the same conclusion in late 2023.

The US Food and Drug Administration has been conducting research on this topic for 25 years. The FDA notes that there have been some studies that have shown minor effects from the devices, but they are not reproducible.

Both the FDA and WHO note that given the extremely low level of energy intake, it is virtually impossible to eliminate other causes of biological effects in the studies that did find an effect.

Since the advent of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, there has not been a statistically higher incidence of cancer associated with anything other than better diagnostic techniques. Paradoxically, this is partly due to radiofrequency detection techniques, which allow for earlier diagnoses and better results.

But for some this still seems not enough. Unlike last time, this time, as parts of the internet are doing their nonsense again, we're going to delve into a basic physics lesson about time, distance, shielding, and wavelengths as it applies to the Apple Vision Pro.

Buckle up.

What is time, distance, shielding, and what do they mean?

For any given source of exposure, the severity of exposure in any aspect is controlled by the time you spend exposed to something, how far you are from something, and also what protects you from this impact and how effective it is.

Time is easy. The less time you spend near a source, the less exposure you have to that source.

Distance is a little more difficult. In the case of RF exposure from a point source, the so-called inverse square law applies. In short, the intensity of the impact is inversely proportional to the square of the distance to that object.

Graphical representation of the inverse square law: credit to Wikipedia

Practically, this means that the exposure to RF power at a given distance r is quartered at a distance 2r. This works on very small scales as well as large ones.

For the scientists among us, as this relates to the term “point source” mentioned above – — there is also something called “line source”. However, for very small broadcasters such as the Apple Vision Pro, or for distance from 5G transmitters, the line source math is irrelevant and can be effectively ignored.

If you have a 5G iPhone, you've already seen the shielding effect. You probably have excellent 5G outdoors and terrible speed indoors — This is because the higher frequencies of the 5G spectrum are very effectively shielded by the thinnest construction materials, but the lower frequencies are not.

However, for most Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in Apple Vision Pro, shielding doesn't make much of a difference. What matters is the extremely low broadcast power, the directionality of the transmitters in the Apple Vision Pro, and the distance from the user.

How tissue damage , measured for radio sources?

Specific absorption rate, or SAR, is a measure of the rate at which a body absorbs radio frequency energy. A SAR of 1 watt per kilogram will increase the temperature of an insulated piece of fabric by one degree Celsius per hour of exposure at that power and does not account for the loss of this temperature increase due to any other factor.

This is partly due to the fact that, in addition to the cooling that occurs in the human body due to conduction through the blood and other adjacent tissues, there is also no attention paid to the recovery of the system after exposure. Studies of single-celled life that scream radio frequency damage to these eukaryotes or prokaryotes are not the same as the results you get from exposure to an interconnected system of many cells that repair themselves when damaged.

Unlike the three methods of measuring ionizing radiation, SAR is a measure of that heat, not an absolute measure of damage. The heat generated is what could theoretically cause damage from RF exposure, but measuring — and how it is measured and regulated — is controversial.

The legal limits for SAR are not even close to the point where damage begins. Legal limits have a huge margin of safety and are set well below the point at which exposure to radio frequencies can cause harm. In addition, there are varying legal and safety limits for extremity, head, and whole body exposure to most forms of radiation, radio frequency, or ionizing radiation.

And RF exposure is not cumulative like damage from ionizing radiation. When the heating effect caused by RF radiation wears off (assuming no heat damage has occurred to the flesh), the clock for that damage is effectively reset.

How SAR works Apply to Apple Vision Pro?

For Apple Vision Pro, Apple has legally provided access to standardized test results. The limits vary, with SAR limits set at 1.6 W per kilogram when averaged over one gram of tissue, and 2.0 W per kilogram over 10 grams of tissue.

Measured RF exposure to the head generates 0.10 W per kilogram of one gram of ersatz fabric and 0.08 W per kilogram of more than 10 grams of tissue simulant.

There is another legal limit for limbs: 4 watts per kilogram over 10 grams of tissue. The limit is higher because the limbs lack a sensory brain and eyes.

Measurement on the wrist using the device, pressing the Digital Crown or the action button is 2.96 watts per kilogram throughout the test, which is much higher than the actual button press time.

None of this resembles the drama that the French radiation testing commission provoked. In 2023, they complained that the iPhone 12 exceeded legal exposure limits.

But they tested strangely. They measured the iPhone on the table — which transmits with more power than when the sensors on an iPhone (or any smartphone from any manufacturer) detect that it is near your head. In short, they equated contact measurements from a device half a meter away from the flesh to what it transmits in close proximity to human skin.

Position of Bluetooth chips in Apple Vision Pro [iFixit]

Back to Apple Vision Pro, data transmission over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi is different from 5G in all relationships. And they are not near the skin — they are closer to the outer glass than to the skin, and not by much.

Observing the location of the chips in the Apple Vision Pro: the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi chips (and transmitters) are located approximately 2.5 centimeters from the skin. That's five times more distance from your skin than the iPhone's 5G antenna when you hold the iPhone to your ear.

This is the “distance” aspect of time, distance and protection. The electronics provide some protection, but in the case of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi streaming, there is little protection, so it is mostly negligible.

And the time depends on the user. As with everything in life, your own risk criteria apply. If this bothers you, don't wear it all day — even though you're probably getting more RF exposure inside your car from the engine or electrical wires in the wall than from the Apple Vision Pro.

You are at much greater risk of developing environmental diseases if you have a basement near granite deposits, commute to work every day, get three dental x-rays a year, or even fly commercial.

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