Samsung makes health monitoring push with Simband and cloud-based platform

Proposed hardware and open software API announced to keep tabs on your wellness
Samsung Simband

Wearable tech has become a notable part of Samsung’s consumer product arsenal, and the company has even loftier goals ahead, as evidenced by today’s announcement of the Simband.

Revealed at an event in San Francisco, the Simband is not a completed or soon-to-be-available product just yet, but rather Samsung’s concept for what health-centric wearable tech should be.

The wristwatch-like design—not far off from its Gear smartwatches—will feature an array of sensors within the band that constantly monitor your vitals throughout the day. Many of the proposed sensors aren’t even ready yet; beyond sensing your heart rate, Samsung envisions the abilities to test air quality or blood glucose levels, reports The Verge.

And it’s part of a much larger health push for the company. The Samsung Architecture Multimodal Interactions (SAMI) platform will be open and available for third-party companies to build wearable devices around, letting them tap into the same cloud-powered system as Samsung’s own tech.

Samsung will encourage such development with its Digital Health Challenge initiative, which will invest up to US$50 million in companies working on SAMI-powered devices.

There’s no timeline as of yet for the release of Simband products, though the API for developers to work with will be available later this year. Samsung’s announcement comes just days prior to the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), of course, where Apple is expected to announce the Healthbook service in iOS 8—which should play nice with the long-rumoured iWatch.

[Sources: SamsungThe Verge]

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