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Photo: "Axios on HBO"

After a sit-down interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook for "Axios on HBO," Axios got a tour inside the exercise lab Apple uses to make sure its watch can accurately track your workout of choice — whatever that might be.

Details: Parts of the lab resemble a gym, with dozens of treadmills, rowing machines and other exercise machines. There's also a yoga room and an endless pool, which allows Apple to better track how people are swimming — as different strokes burn different amount of calories.

What makes Apple's lab quite different from any gym are the bulky masks you see on each of the people working out. Known as a metabolic cart, the machines precisely determine just how many calories are being burned in each activity.

Then there are the 3 temperature-adjustable rooms (dubbed Higher, Faster and Stronger) that can be made extremely hot or very cold.

"We have done over 50,000 sessions of data collection which is almost 100,000 hours of data being collected. That includes over 12,000 unique participants so it’s a very diverse set of data as well which is really important because obviously, everyone’s body is different and we want to understand as much as we can about different types of people."
— Apple's fitness director Jay Blahnik

The bottom line: That adds up to a huge bet on health and fitness. The Apple Watch available today is just the beginning.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

5 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.