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iHealth: Meet the new wearable 'dream team' Apple hired from fashion, fitness & medicine

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
As Apple gears up for a new battle in the hotly-contested wearables market, AppleInsider offers a look at the platoon of fashion, fitness, and medical experts that have come to work in recent months for Cupertino's largest taxpayer.

Fitness



FuelBand


Fitness tracking is thought to be one of Apple's primary targets for the so-called "iWatch," with rumors pointing to a number of sensors and a companion "Healthbook" app that would track a range of biometric parameters including heart rate, oxygen saturation, and blood glucose levels.
Apple's fitness-related hires suggest to some that it plans on releasing an 'iWatch' that could track user activity and health.
Jay Blahnik: One of Apple's earliest health hires, Blahnik came on board in August 2013. He is a highly-regarded health and fitness guru, having consulted at one time or another for Nautilus, Gatorade, Schwinn, and Nike, among others.

During his work with Nike, Blahnik played a key role in the development of the popular FuelBand fitness tracker. Apple CEO Tim Cook is known to be a fan of the FuelBand, often seen wearing one and saying at one point that Nike did a "great job" on the device.

How he could help: A new, Nike Fuel-style system to quantify the effects of a user's daily activity.

Ben Shaffer: Shaffer -- like Blahnik, a Nike alum -- ran the shoe and aparrel giant's research and development studio before joining Apple in September 2013. Shaffer was not involved in the FuelBand project, instead leading a group primarily concerned with "footwear innovation."

One of the hallmark footwear products from Shaffer's time was the Flyknit, an ultra-lightweight, ultra-strong line of athletic shoes. Flyknit required the company to create an entirely new manufacturing process, not unlike some projects undertaken by Apple, such as the mass CNC machining process invented for the unibody MacBook Pro.

How he could help: Design and manufacturing processes for wearable products, especially as it relates to ergonomics.

Now hiring: In February, an advertisment for an exercise physiologist briefly appeared on Apple's corporate jobs portal. At the time, the company said the winning candidate would "design and run user studies related to cardiovascular fitness & energy expenditure, including calories burned, metabolic rate, aerobic fitness level measurement/tracking and other key physiological measurements."

How they could help: Understanding how the body reacts to exercise and providing feedback on style, intensity, and results.

Fashion



iPhone 5s


Apple is rumored to be designing the iWatch as equal parts gadget and fashion statement. Well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes the device's casing and band will be available in a variety of materials with a price tag running into the thousands of dollars on the high end.

Paul Deneve: Formerly the CEO of French fashion label Saint Laurent, Deneve moved to Cupertino in July 2013. At the time, it was said that he would work on "special projects" and report directly to Cook.
Fashion will be a concern for any wearable devices that hope to gain mass-market adoption.
Deneve worked in Apple's marketing department in the 1990s but left for the fashion industry in 1997. Many believe he was brought back specifically for the iWatch project.

How he could help: A fashion insider's take on the iWatch's design could help ensure people don't feel like they're wearing an iPhone on their wrist.

Angela Ahrendts: Another former fashion CEO, Ahrendts ran British label Burberry until earlier this month. Before moving to London, she served as president of Donna Karan International and on the executive board of Liz Claiborne.

Unlike Deneve, Ahrendts was hired for a well-known and very visible position as the head of Apple's retail operations, both brick-and-mortar and online. Ahrendts is credited for making Burberry's retail experience among the best in fashion, a useful background considering the iWatch's supposed fashion-forward focus.

How she could help: If rumors that the iWatch will be closer to a Rolex than an iPod are true, Apple's retail environment will need an update.

Now hiring: Apple is rumored to have reached out to Swiss watchmakers about new partnerships, while LVMH CEO Jean-Claude Biver accused the company of attempting to lure employees from "several Swiss parts manufacturers."

How they could help: Swiss horologists are experts at component miniaturization and advanced metallurgy, which could make the iWatch smaller and lighter.

Medical Research



Raymann
Photo showing sleep science patient believed to be Dr. Roy Raymann. | Roy Raymann via Twitter


Some of the speculation surrounding the Healthbook app suggests that in addition to working with Apple's iWatch, it will serve as a centralized hub for all iOS-connected health monitoring devices. Apple has been seen in talks with the Food and Drug Administration, likely to ensure that their eventual entry does not cross a line that would require it to be regulated by the agency.

Dr. Roy J.E.M. Raymann: Apple hired Dr. Raymann in February of this year from Dutch technology company Philips's research division, where he served as a senior scientist focusing on sleep research. He also sits on the Scientific Committee of the Dutch Society for Sleep-Wake Research.

Dr. Raymann is a renowned sleep researcher, having published a variety of scholarly works including papers on circadian rhythms and the effects of temperature regulation on sleep. At Philips Research, he consulted on projects involving light and performance, sleep and activity monitoring, measuring temperature, sleep in babies, sleep in psychiatric disorders, sleep phenotyping, sleep enhancement and sleep and breathing.

How he could help: Analyzing users' sleep patterns to help them rest more efficiently and effectively.

Biometric Sensors



Hire
The Masimo rainbow fingerprint sensor. Photo via Wikipedia.


Nearly every iWatch rumor includes the idea that Apple will ship the device with a bevy of biometric sensors designed to track as many facets of the wearer's health as possible, including advanced metrics like blood oxygen saturation and environmental factors such as UV exposure.

Michael O'Reilly & Marcelo Malini Lamago: O'Reilly and Lamago joined Apple in January 2014 and February 2014, respectively, from pulse oximetry firm Masimo and its sister company Cercacor.

O'Reilly was chief medical office and executive vice president of medical affairs at Masimo, while Lamago was CTO of Cercacor. Both worked on noninvasive blood analysis technologies, including Masimo's "Rainbow" platform that assesses "multiple blood constituents and physiologic parameters that previously required invasive or complicated procedures."

How they can help: Optoelectronic technology for monitoring blood oxygen saturation, heart rate, or blood glucose levels.

Nancy Dougherty: Dougherty has been a hardware engineer Apple since December 2013, having joined from wearable sensor startup Sano Intelligence. Before joining Sano, she was a senior engineer at Proteus Digital Health, makers of a "Bluetooth-enabled electronic "Band-Aid" that monitors heart rate, respiration, motion, and temperature, as well as detects technologically enabled "Smart Pills" that are ingested and activated in the stomach."

How she can help: Dougherty has significant experience designing "the whole widget" when it comes to wearable medical devices.

Todd Whitehurst: Before coming to Apple as a hardware development director in July 2013, Whitehurst led research and development teams at a number of medical device manufacturers. He has particular expertise in neurostimulation and previously developed implantable devices for drug delivery and glucose monitoring.

How he could help: Apple is thought to have dropped optoelectronic glucose monitoring and could be exploring more invasive solutions .

Ravi Narasimhan: Narasimhan was added to Apple's payroll in December 2013 after serving as research and development chief of biosensor company Vital Connect, where he worked on wearable medical devices to monitor ECG, respiration, fall detection, posture, and activity. Narasimhan also has significant experience designing wireless communications (Wi-Fi, LTE, and 3G) systems.

How he could help: Apple is said to want the iWatch to be a standalone device, which would likely combine medical sensors with mobile data.
post #2 of 47
Er, 9to5Mac had this article back in February...

http://tinyurl.com/kr4zyv7
post #3 of 47
When did the "wearables market" become "hotly contested"?

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #4 of 47

The acquisitions definitely prove that Apple is working on health tracking devices. But am I the only one who thinks that most these acquisitions are a little on the late side for a 2014 product release (and certainly when you take into account the time it takes to get FDA clearance which is at least 4 months even for the most basic functions, let alone things like blood analysis :s). I personally have the impression that most of these acquisitions/hires are for a product for next year or so, which could be either an updated iWatch (with this years iWatch having somewhat more basic health related functions) or other wearable.

Just an impression of course...


Edited by Chipsy - 5/14/14 at 6:36am
post #5 of 47
Before anyone gets too excited, keep in mind that nothing may come of any of this research if any product ideas fail to meet the Apple simplicity test.

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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post #6 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Before anyone gets too excited, keep in mind that nothing may come of any of this research if any product ideas fail to meet the Apple simplicity test.

True dat.

post #7 of 47
This is ALL very exciting and interesting!
post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Before anyone gets too excited, keep in mind that nothing may come of any of this research if any product ideas fail to meet the Apple simplicity test.
if this is just in the research stage then no way will we see any products this year. Curious to know how you would define the "Apple simplicity test" in the context of what these people may be working on.
post #9 of 47
Why is Dr Dre not mentioned under the Medical Research category?

😉
post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Why is Dr Dre not mentioned under the Medical Research category?

😉

 

 

I'm pretty sure his PhD is in astrophysics, not medicine.

post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Why is Dr Dre not mentioned under the Medical Research category?

😉
Medical marihuana ?
post #12 of 47
The problem with this is that Apple will come out with a really cool innovative elegant device. And it will be expensive to create.

In the case of the iPhone they has time to charge $800 for the first model and come down in price only gradually while competitors played catch up.

But that was the phone. Now with a watch competitors are going to copy Apple's beautiful creation in a very short amount of time. And they will offer their versions at a lower price immediately.

This is why priority 1 for Apple is non copiability.

What could be hard for others to emulate:

1) brand status/cool factor. If you sell a watch with a Rolex type aura

Make the war about style. Android is not about chic elegance.

2) really high end tech features that are difficult to pull off well. Like the fingerprint reader but also *medical tech*

3) cool expensive challenging and/or rare materials that are hard to integrate for various reasons. Like sapphirre.
Edited by 512ke - 5/14/14 at 7:20am
post #13 of 47

I hope Apple waits a few of years before launching a watch. The market needs to demonstrate its irrelevance, which will give Apple the opportunity to look at the past and design a product using the best possible solutions. Besides, I don't think the technology is there yet especially display technology.

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post #14 of 47
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Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post
 

I hope Apple waits a few of years before launching a watch. The market needs to demonstrate its irrelevance, which will give Apple the opportunity to look at the past and design a product using the best possible solutions. Besides, I don't think the technology is there yet especially display technology.

Personally I think that the display technology is ready for it, what isn't ready is the battery technology.


Edited by Chipsy - 5/14/14 at 7:32am
post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesTheLesser View Post


I'm pretty sure his PhD is in astrophysics, not medicine.

But if they considered that, it would give them a chance to hire Queen's Brian May 1smile.gif
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

I hope Apple waits a few of years before launching a watch. The market needs to demonstrate its irrelevance, which will give Apple the opportunity to look at the past and design a product using the best possible solutions. Besides, I don't think the technology is there yet especially display technology.

It occurred to me recently that all these 'me too companies' that to avoid being branded copiers now try to leap frog Apple at every turn by brining out their crap based on rumors ahead of Apple, achieve for Apple exactly what you suggest in a way. Sorry for the long sentence! 1biggrin.gif
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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post #17 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Why is Dr Dre not mentioned under the Medical Research category?

😉

Ask Ming-chi Kuo. He's well-connected.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by 512ke View Post

But that was the phone. Now with a watch competitors are going to copy Apple's beautiful creation in a very short amount of time. And they will offer their versions at a lower price immediately. This is why priority 1 for Apple is non copiability.

Priority One at Apple is "Delight the customer." If the product can't do that, then there's no product. I will agree with you that Apple will have a high bar for their competition to jump, but nothing will be there that is not essential to meet Priority One.

Through aggressively going after anyone that steals their IP. Apple has served notice that it's expensive to defend oneself when Apple is involved. Finally, as Samsung has learned, Apple has caché and Samsung can't duplicate that, even with 10s of Billions of dollars of Marketing. Galaxy Gear will look like strapping a dog turd onto your wrist compared to what Apple will roll out.
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

I hope Apple waits a few of years before launching a watch. The market needs to demonstrate its irrelevance, which will give Apple the opportunity to look at the past and design a product using the best possible solutions. Besides, I don't think the technology is there yet especially display technology.

First off, it won't be a watch. Apple has let the "me too" crowd believe that while they work on an outstanding biomedical device. Like with the iPhone, the first iteration will be more basic then the next and the next. I cannot imagine what the wearable iDevice may be capable when it's as mature as the iPhone is today.
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #20 of 47
Quote:
a new battle in the hotly-contested wearables market

 

OK, am I missing something?  Was there an article somewhere that said that millions of people were buying these things and that profits were in the billions?

 

Just because lots of people come out with something doesn't really make it "hotly contested" in my mind.  It actually has to be successful product before it's "hotly" anything, AFAIC.

post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipsy View Post
 

Personally I think that the display technology is ready for it, what isn't ready is the battery technology.

The current LCD/LED display technology has too many problems for a watch, and I think the only display technology that can work for a practical watch is eInk which has it's own performance issues too.

 

LCD, OLED, LED problems:

- The display is too thick. Sapphire may help but not by much.

- You cannot see your watch when wearing polarized glasses or sunglasses. (Try it with an iPhone in landscape)

- The display will have too much glare in sunlight, the backlight cannot overpower daylight.

- The displays always has the backlight blasting behind the polarizing pixel layer, making black annoyingly visible in dark rooms, such as a movie theatre or a bedroom. The solution would be to touch the screen to activate the device, which in my mind, defeats the purpose of wearing a watch.

- The display consumes too much power.

- The display has a limited shapes. Although Motorola produced images of a round watch, it was computer generated and not an actual device. A solution might be to pick up the circuitry to the pixels from the middle axis of the device, that would have to be seen if it can be done.

 

eInk solves most of the problems because it's visible in daylight, does not use a polarizing layer, and does not continuously produce light. Also it can be manufactured really thin, and it consumes close to nothing in power. But unfortunately, the refresh rate is agonizingly slow, and color is nowhere near appealing.

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post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post


First off, it won't be a watch. Apple has let the "me too" crowd believe that while they work on an outstanding biomedical device. Like with the iPhone, the first iteration will be more basic then the next and the next. I cannot imagine what the wearable iDevice may be capable when it's as mature as the iPhone is today.

Exactly. This device won't be ready anytime soon. Not that I am an expert but from what I am reading the technology is not yet there. I think Apple is laying the foundations for a whole new platform and 'biometric' eco-system. The potential market is huge. Not so much for teens but for the ageing population, and medical community. The 'iWatch' will not be dependent upon an iPhone in your pocket (what a lame thought) but will obviously work seamlessly within the Apple ecosystem. All the wannabe wearable makers are simply warming up the market for Apple. 

post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post
 

The current LCD/LED display technology has too many problems for a watch, and I think the only display technology that can work for a practical watch is eInk which has it's own performance issues too.

 

LCD, OLED, LED problems:

- The display is too thick. Sapphire may help but not by much.

- You cannot see your watch when wearing polarized glasses or sunglasses. (Try it with an iPhone in landscape)

- The display will have too much glare in sunlight, the backlight cannot overpower daylight.

- The displays always has the backlight blasting behind the polarizing pixel layer, making black annoyingly visible in dark rooms, such as a movie theatre or a bedroom. The solution would be to touch the screen to activate the device, which in my mind, defeats the purpose of wearing a watch.

- The display consumes too much power.

- The display has a limited shapes. Although Motorola produced images of a round watch, it was computer generated and not an actual device. A solution might be to pick up the circuitry to the pixels from the middle axis of the device, that would have to be seen if it can be done.

 

eInk solves most of the problems because it's visible in daylight, does not use a polarizing layer, and does not continuously produce light. Also it can be manufactured really thin, and it consumes close to nothing in power. But unfortunately, the refresh rate is agonizingly slow, and color is nowhere near appealing.


Many of the problems you mention here have some sort of solution for them.

- Granted LCD displays might be a bit thick but flexible OLED displays are pretty thin.

- The sun glare isn't necessarily a problem with the display but rather the glass. Oled's are pretty good in sunlight.

- Oled displays don't use a backlight.

- When in standby mode there are neat solutions like the Moto X's Active Display. Essentially this allows the display to turn on and off individual pixels (oled displays). So when in standby mode it could only show the clock and everything black would be turned off pixels saving a lot of power. It is rumored that the Moto 360 will use this feature so the watch can be always on (in the very first video interview you can clearly see at some points that the clock is visible without them touching the display).

- By now the Moto 360 has been shown in real life as well, not only computer generated models. Matias Duarte wore one at a designers conference and during the first interview both the interviewer and the interviewee were wearing working models.

One of the latest films show the lead designer also wearing a working model, which was proven when he during the interview got a notification on the watch. In this interview though the display seems to be off in standby which probably means you can choose whether or not you want to be able to always see the clock. http://www.theverge.com/2014/4/28/5661166/motorola-moto-360-report-jim-wicks-video

So the Moto 360 definitely isn't just a concept, it's due for release this summer.


Edited by Chipsy - 5/14/14 at 10:42am
post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipsy View Post
 


Many of the problems you mention here have some sort of solution for them.

- Granted LCD displays might be a bit thick but flexible OLED displays are pretty thin.

- The sun glare isn't necessarily a problem with the display but rather the glass. Oled's are pretty good in sunlight.

- Oled displays don't use a backlight.

- When in standby mode there are neat solutions like the Moto X's Active Display. Essentially this allows the display to turn on and off individual pixels (oled displays). So when in standby mode it could only show the clock and everything black would be turned off pixels saving a lot of power. It is rumored that the Moto 360 will use this feature so the watch can be always on.

- By now the Moto 360 has been shown in real life as well, not only computer generated models. Matias Duarte wore one at a designers conference and during the first interview both the interviewer and the interviewee were wearing working models.

One of the latest films show the lead designer also wearing a working model, which was proven when he during the interview got a notification on the watch. http://www.theverge.com/2014/4/28/5661166/motorola-moto-360-report-jim-wicks-video

So the Moto 360 definitely isn't just a concept, it's due for release this summer.

 

Glare is a glass or any surface issue, the real problem lies in light emitting vs light reflective display technologies. LED OLED and LCD are all light-emiiting, which means if you turn off the backlight/light source you would barely be able to see an image, because the light source has to be brighter than the ambient light. eInk on the other hand, is light-reflective, meaning that the ambient light or daylight is what makes it possible for you to see an image, just like paper wether you put glass on top of it or not. You can still see your mechanical watch in daylight since the content behind the glass is light-reflective.

 

Motorola's watch still consumes lots of power, and as I said, having to always press a button to see your display defeats the purpose of a watch, and that is just my opinion. The watch is also very thick, obviously due to the display and battery. With eInk the watch could've been half the thickness. I'm not promoting eInk, I'm only pointing out why I feel the technology is not there yet for an iWatch.

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post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post
 

 

Glare is a glass or any surface issue, the real problem lies in light emitting vs light reflective display technologies. LED OLED and LCD are all light-emiiting, which means if you turn off the backlight/light source you would barely be able to see an image, because the light source has to be brighter than the ambient light. eInk on the other hand, is light-reflective, meaning that the ambient light or daylight is what makes it possible for you to see an image, just like paper wether you put glass on top of it or not. You can still see your mechanical watch in daylight since the content behind the glass is light-reflective.

 

Motorola's watch still consumes lots of power, and as I said, having to always press a button to see your display defeats the purpose of a watch, and that is just my opinion. The watch is also very thick, obviously due to the display and battery. With eInk the watch could've been half the thickness. I'm not promoting eInk, I'm only pointing out why I feel the technology is not there yet for an iWatch.


The thing is for the display there are possible solutions (like Motorola's Active Display) to manage that. The battery on the other hand is another problem, which doesn't have obvious solutions. Therefor I still believe that the biggest hurdle is the battery and not the display.

P.S. if you turn off the light source on OLED displays you wouldn't see anything. The LED's are the lightsource. Therefor Motorola's Active Display should be able to save a lot of power here (by turning off unnecessary led's).

post #26 of 47
Apple bought luxvue to solve the display problem. They've got very low power micro LEDs
post #27 of 47

Beats is working on a new wearable kevlar vest with a "iBustaCap" sensor to detect when you have been shot, and automatically call 911 - if you have Location Services turned on.   They are also working on a new crowd sourcing app called "Drive-By"

 

People had been complaining that when they were shot they had trouble getting help from Siri.

 

"I have found fifteen hospitals close to you" is not what you want to hear.  Of course with Google voice search you will get a pop-up ad from the hospital offering "Discount Bullet Removal While You Wait".   And also a Groupon for 9mm ammo.

post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

When did the "wearables market" become "hotly contested"?

 

A lot of companies are jumping in the ring, which would make it hotly contested. What it absolutely is not, is popular among consumers. Which makes me wonder, why bother? My thoughts... with all the rumors of Apple entering the market, most of these companies believe that after Apple does release something, the market will explode and they want to be in on it from the get go, rather than be left behind like they were in the mobile market. Personally, all this hubbub about Apple NEEDING to enter the wearable market is just stupid. All they really NEED to do is make sure that these devices are compatible with their platform.

 

It could simply be that they hired all these people to help build their rumored “Healthbook” platform. All of these people have deep industry contacts and knowledge and could very well be an “inside” into the industry to develop working relationships with other researchers and manufacturers.

Even if all Apple did was just release a new iOS based, health-related platform it could spark tremendous growth in the sensor/wearables market. Having a core team such as this, could guarantee that iOS remains a significant part of that market and doesn’t get left behind.

Apple doesn’t have to make and sell all these devices themselves. What they really need to do is develop and create a platform that industries want to support – and absolutely need to support.

 

However, if that means releasing a “wearable” to show the rest of the industry that people are interested when it’s done right, then that’s what they’ll do.


Edited by mjtomlin - 5/14/14 at 1:01pm
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipsy View Post
 


The thing is for the display there are possible solutions (like Motorola's Active Display) to manage that. The battery on the other hand is another problem, which doesn't have obvious solutions. Therefor I still believe that the biggest hurdle is the battery and not the display.

P.S. if you turn off the light source on OLED displays you wouldn't see anything. The LED's are the lightsource. Therefor Motorola's Active Display should be able to save a lot of power here (by turning off unnecessary led's).

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeb View Post

Apple bought luxvue to solve the display problem. They've got very low power micro LEDs

Still useless on a sunny day. The problem is all those mentioned technologies are light emitting, therefore the little OLEDs or LEDs have to try and outshine the ambient light of daylight, which is impossible on a sunny day. The solution to this problem is a light reflective display, like Kindle's Paperwhite, only faster and in bright color.

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post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post


Galaxy Gear will look like strapping a dog turd onto your wrist compared to what Apple will roll out.

 

lol!

 

Agree with you -- Apple is in it to win it by delighting the customer.

 

But I do think Apple's brand works better for wearables.  Apple, stylish, elegant, Rolex, Ferrari, cool.

 

Android Galaxy Gear, sci fi green alien trash can, gearhead, tech toys for nerds (I'm a nerd, full disclosure).

post #31 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipsy View Post
 

Personally I think that the display technology is ready for it, what isn't ready is the battery technology.

The current LCD/LED display technology has too many problems for a watch, and I think the only display technology that can work for a practical watch is eInk which has it's own performance issues too.

 

LCD, OLED, LED problems:

- The display is too thick. Sapphire may help but not by much.

- You cannot see your watch when wearing polarized glasses or sunglasses. (Try it with an iPhone in landscape)

- The display will have too much glare in sunlight, the backlight cannot overpower daylight.

- The displays always has the backlight blasting behind the polarizing pixel layer, making black annoyingly visible in dark rooms, such as a movie theatre or a bedroom. The solution would be to touch the screen to activate the device, which in my mind, defeats the purpose of wearing a watch.

- The display consumes too much power.

- The display has a limited shapes. Although Motorola produced images of a round watch, it was computer generated and not an actual device. A solution might be to pick up the circuitry to the pixels from the middle axis of the device, that would have to be seen if it can be done.

 

eInk solves most of the problems because it's visible in daylight, does not use a polarizing layer, and does not continuously produce light. Also it can be manufactured really thin, and it consumes close to nothing in power. But unfortunately, the refresh rate is agonizingly slow, and color is nowhere near appealing.

All compelling reasons why Apple will not release an iWatch, at least for the foreseeable future.

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post #32 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipsy View Post

The acquisitions definitely prove that Apple is working on health tracking devices. But am I the only one who thinks that most these acquisitions are a little on the late side for a 2014 product release (and certainly when you take into account the time it takes to get FDA clearance which is at least 4 months even for the most basic functions, let alone things like blood analysis :s). I personally have the impression that most of these acquisitions/hires are for a product for next year or so, which could be either an updated iWatch (with this years iWatch having somewhat more basic health related functions) or other wearable.
Just an impression of course...

I think that's a distinct possibility but we also don't know when they started looking into this or to the extent they wish to make their entry into this market. Also, does the FDA allow for their testing and approvals to be kept secret until such time as the company wants the info released, providing it's before the device goes on sale, like with the FCC?

I'd think that HealthBook (and accompanying APIs and frameworks) would come first or at the same time as any health-focused HW from Apple. Not unlike how PassBook has come before any Apple payment system that is rumoured to be in the works.

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post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Exactly. This device won't be ready anytime soon. Not that I am an expert but from what I am reading the technology is not yet there. I think Apple is laying the foundations for a whole new platform and 'biometric' eco-system.

I agree, however I expect Apple to build itup over time, but starting with something this year... Kinda like the iPad 1... people loved it, but the iPad has advanced a long way since that first one they shipped.
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by 512ke View Post

The problem with this is that Apple will come out with a really cool innovative elegant device. And it will be expensive to create.

In the case of the iPhone they has time to charge $800 for the first model and come down in price only gradually while competitors played catch up.

But that was the phone. Now with a watch competitors are going to copy Apple's beautiful creation in a very short amount of time. And they will offer their versions at a lower price immediately.

This is why priority 1 for Apple is non copiability.

What could be hard for others to emulate:

1) brand status/cool factor. If you sell a watch with a Rolex type aura

Make the war about style. Android is not about chic elegance.

2) really high end tech features that are difficult to pull off well. Like the fingerprint reader but also *medical tech*

3) cool expensive challenging and/or rare materials that are hard to integrate for various reasons. Like sapphirre.

You forgot about the real number 1 way to make it hard for others to copy

 

1) make it only work on iOS devices with no SDK for developers. Apple's ecosystem is arguably the most valuable component of any Apple wearable.

post #35 of 47

<*Yawn!*> Biometrics… fashion… trying desperately to be interested but failing...

 

Is there really a market for this stuff outside gym freaks and hypochondriacs?

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

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V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

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V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post


Still useless on a sunny day. The problem is all those mentioned technologies are light emitting, therefore the little OLEDs or LEDs have to try and outshine the ambient light of daylight, which is impossible on a sunny day. The solution to this problem is a light reflective display, like Kindle's Paperwhite, only faster and in bright color.

That already exists on digital watches: it's called the LCD.

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post #37 of 47
How can Apple launch a Healthbook app at WWDC in June without an accompanying device to use it with? It's got to be either both or nothing.
post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


That already exists on digital watches: it's called the LCD.

Color LCDs are generally light emitting, not good in sunlight.

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post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

<*Yawn!*> Biometrics… fashion… trying desperately to be interested but failing...

Is there really a market for this stuff outside gym freaks and hypochondriacs?

I think that's what Apple's trying to do here. I could easily see anyone over 50 being interested in a purely health-related wearable (more because they have to than they want to). But there are no sexy apps for this tech yet and I doubt there will be anytime soon. Biometrics for health are really all about health metrics over time. Once you can see a bad health pattern over 3-5 years, you can take action to correct it and that is really cool.
post #40 of 47
I can't really conceive of anything that would interest me less. What's next—Apple-brand catheters? Adult diapers? I think this would absolutely destroy Apple's brand appeal—and I speak as an old man who's not in great shape myself.
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