Apple looking to hire exercise physiologist, may point to fitness-tracking 'iWatch'

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited February 2014
With speculation of a so-called "iWatch" reaching frenzied proportions, a new Apple employment advertisement seeking a product development-focused exercise physiologist has added weight to the theory that the device would feature a focus on fitness.

iWatch
iWatch concept by Todd Hamilton

Update: Apple has since removed the job listing from its website.

Apple is looking for a "detail & execution oriented, meticulous, highly organized" exercise physiologist to help the company study the physiological effects of exercise on users, according to an advertisement posted to Apple's employment portal Thursday morning.
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.

Candidate will be knowledgeable about the physiological effects being measured and how to avoid potential inaccuracy and experimental error due DOE flaws and/or reference monitor (i.e. metabolic cart, etc.) usage issues.

The role will need to apply relevant knowledge to the design of products and their testing/validation through user studies.
The winning candidate will "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," the posting reads.

Interested applicants need a broad understanding of tools used to monitor and measure physiological data, as well as experience with indirect calorimetry to measure how much energy people expend while exercising.

While Apple is known to offer extensive health benefits to its employees -- including on-site workout facilities and personal training options -- the new position will be focused on running studies that will be used to develop new products, according to the posting.

That matches up with speculation that the still-unannounced iWatch will be centered around biometrics and fitness tracking. Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo was first to raise that theory, and Apple has backed it up with a string of hires in the fitness and medical sensor fields including Nike FuelBand consultant and fitness expert Jay Blahnik and, most recently, former Philips sleep researcher Dr. Roy J.E.M. Raymann.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25

    I think that there is a lot of overlap between fitness buffs (no pun intended) and Apple's target demographic.  It makes sense that any limited-function device from Apple might target them.  

     

    Has anybody considered that Apple might be making a range of different wristbands, hoping to sell multiple special use models to the same customers?  There could be a sports model for the gym with fitness sensors, a more elegant looking one to wear for business with easy to use silent alarm features, one for weekends or kids with social ad other media front and center, etc.

  • Reply 2 of 25
    "Frenzied" ... "noted analyst" ... lol.
  • Reply 3 of 25
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member

    Steve's personal interests were centered around music. That gave us the iPod and iTunes.

    Tim is a fitness buff, so its no surprise that that's where he'll be showing interest.

    The biggest issue to me is that the music industry has shrunk not because of Apple, but because of the reduced interest in buying music by the baby boom... the proverbial 'pig in the python'.

    Guess where that demo is focused now? On making the last years as healthy as possible.

    I've always thought that focus on the 18-35 demo is silly. Unless your tactic is to separate naive kids from their money, the big money is still in the boomers.

  • Reply 4 of 25
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,547member

    Samsung's R&D department located at 1 Infinity Loop in Cupertino is really paying off for them. :)

  • Reply 5 of 25
    irelandireland Posts: 17,570member
    I still say iWatch needs to also be a music playing iPod-killer with bundled wireless EarPods to be ultimate dedicated fitness devices product.

    If it had the following features it would deserve to exist, because it would be a genuine upgrade from a regular watch. As opposed to a notification gimmick for geeks that also happens to tell the time.

    Great hardware design, software interface and user-experience.
    GPS.
    Pedometer.
    Blood oxygen.
    Jogging/cycling exercise route memory.
    Time and date.
    iPhone notifications.
    Sleep activity monitor.
    Magnetic inductive charging dock for watch and headphones.
    Wireless EarPods + full iPod app.
    Up to 7-day battery life when not playing music.

    Even at an initial cost of between $249 and $349, I believe such a product would sell pretty well and be a good money-maker for Apple. Eventually replacing probably several of Apple iPod products.
  • Reply 6 of 25
    mhiklmhikl Posts: 471member

    I have given up on the rumours of an iWatch. I thought and read and dreamt what such a piece of jewellery might be and all I can come up with is chafing and complaining. What with the size complaints against the iPhone and iPt, a teensy iWatch strapped to a wrist would be a godsend to the Nattering Nabobs of Negativity. However Apple, the ever clever trickster, has sent the competition down a rabbit hole.

    Now a nose ring or one for the ear, that might just do. A scratch to the area could chime the time and bob's your uncle, the sun is made redundant.  A scratch and request and maps become a thing of the past.

    SS has its work cut out on this one.

  • Reply 7 of 25
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,385member
    sudonym wrote: »
    I think that there is a lot of overlap between fitness buffs (no pun intended) and Apple's target demographic.  It makes sense that any limited-function device from Apple might target them.  

    Apples target demographic is people with money, considering the state of people these days I would say there is a low overlap
  • Reply 8 of 25
    sandorsandor Posts: 507member
    I only hope (wish) that if Apple creates a fitness device, it has more actual physiological use than the competing high tech pedometers out there now.

    I would love to see things like needle-less lactate monitoring (some big company has *had* to have been following this advancement...) where we can actually get useful training information, rather than less effective heart rate/"calorie burning" type info.

    Imagine the sales to those late blooming triathletes, bikers, runners, etc. If you throw down US$5000 for a bicycle, a few hundred to help you train more efficiently would be nothing.
  • Reply 9 of 25
    "Frenzied" ... "noted analyst" ... lol.

    How can you post such thing when it is quite obvious what is happening? Can't wait, looks like Apple is really gunning for it.

    A bigger iPhone and this. That's all I need from Apple, then I will be fine for at least 5 years.
  • Reply 10 of 25
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,283member
    I jog a few times a week and I have bog all interest in a watch.
  • Reply 11 of 25
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GQB View Post

     

     

    Tim is a fitness buff, so its no surprise that that's where he'll be showing interest.

     


    Are there really enough fitness buffs in the world for this rumored device to meet typical Apple market expectations?

     

    The type of exercise that the upper middle class baby boomers do is more like walking and stretching, not so much heavy cardio, biking or jogging. A lot of people particularly females like yoga, but do these people need a fitness watch?

     

    Biking and jogging for exercise is primarily a USA phenomena. I really don't see anyone running or biking in the developing world, at least not as a leisure activity.

     

    Some people say it is for people who have health issues who will use it for monitoring their conditions, but that seams like too much of a liability for Apple and also a very limited market segment.

  • Reply 12 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mhikl View Post

     

    I have given up on the rumours of an iWatch. I thought and read and dreamt what such a piece of jewellery might be and all I can come up with is chafing and complaining. What with the size complaints against the iPhone and iPt, a teensy iWatch strapped to a wrist would be a godsend to the Nattering Nabobs of Negativity. However Apple, the ever clever trickster, has sent the competition down a rabbit hole.

    Now a nose ring or one for the ear, that might just do. A scratch to the area could chime the time and bob's your uncle, the sun is made redundant.  A scratch and request and maps become a thing of the past.

    SS has its work cut out on this one.


     

    I'd like some of what you're on!

  • Reply 13 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     

    Are there really enough fitness buffs in the world for this rumored device to meet typical Apple market expectations?

     

    The type of exercise that the upper middle class baby boomers do is more like walking and stretching, not so much heavy cardio, biking or jogging. A lot of people particularly females like yoga, but do these people need a fitness watch?

     

    Biking and jogging for exercise is primarily a USA phenomena. I really don't see anyone running or biking in the developing world, at least not as a leisure activity.

     

    Some people say it is for people who have health issues who will use it for monitoring their conditions, but that seams like too much of a liability for Apple and also a very limited market segment.


     

    There are plenty of fitness buffs, but as others have mentioned, the health aspects extend beyond physical prowess, to basic health monitoring. And I'm sure Tim Cook loves this project given his background, but this is the place tech is going regardless. Companies like Fitbit are leading the charge, and honestly, I'm a bit worried if Apple is just now starting to fill some of these key positions. We all know the lead times involved in a brand new product category...

  • Reply 14 of 25
    These recent hires point toward a product introduction, or possibly no product introduction, years from now. Expect nothing immediate.
  • Reply 15 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post



    I still say iWatch needs to also be a music playing iPod-killer with bundled wireless EarPods to be ultimate dedicated fitness devices product.



    If it had the following features it would deserve to exist, because it would be a genuine upgrade from a regular watch. As opposed to a notification gimmick for geeks that also happens to tell the time.



    Great hardware design, software interface and user-experience.

    GPS.

    Pedometer.

    Blood oxygen.

    Jogging/cycling exercise route memory.

    Time and date.

    iPhone notifications.

    Sleep activity monitor.

    Magnetic inductive charging dock for watch and headphones.

    Wireless EarPods + full iPod app.

    Up to 7-day battery life when not playing music.



    Even at an initial cost of between $249 and $349, I believe such a product would sell pretty well and be a good money-maker for Apple. Eventually replacing probably several of Apple iPod products.

     

    I like it! Very interesting list.

  • Reply 16 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SudoNym View Post

     

    Has anybody considered that Apple might be making a range of different wristbands, hoping to sell multiple special use models to the same customers?


     

    Yeah, me - "I'm open to the possibility that an Apple "smart" wristwatch and a "health" sensor/monitor might be two distinct devices."*

     

    Nice to know I'm not alone.

     

    Rumor: Apple's next-gen iOS 8 to include 'Healthbook' app for comprehensive health monitoring

  • Reply 17 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sandor View Post



    I only hope (wish) that if Apple creates a fitness device, it has more actual physiological use than the competing high tech pedometers out there now.

     

    Think iPod compared to the music players that preceded it. Think iPhone to the "smart" phones that preceded it. Think iPad to the tablets that preceded it. I think there is a very good chance you'll get your wish.

  • Reply 18 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GQB View Post

     

    Steve's personal interests were centered around music. That gave us the iPod and iTunes.

    Tim is a fitness buff, so its no surprise that that's where he'll be showing interest.


    Roll on Apple employing an "Enterprise" buff as MD. 

  • Reply 19 of 25
    irelandireland Posts: 17,570member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    These recent hires point toward a product introduction, or possibly no product introduction, years from now. Expect nothing immediate.

     

    Recent hires for v2 ?

  • Reply 20 of 25
    tkell31tkell31 Posts: 216member

    I think people realized the iWatch would at least have a fitness component since the rumor first came out so why is this position just getting filled now?

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