Recent Apple hires renew dreams of an iWatch that could analyze your blood and respiration, an iPhone that could unlock at a glance

Recent Apple hires renew dreams of an iWatch that could analyze your blood and respiration, an iPhone that could unlock at a glance

Apple continues to round out their superstar sensor team, reportedly for the ongoing iWatch project. Mark Gurman has tracked down two new additions, along with their backgrounds and particular areas of expertise. 9to5Mac:

Over the past couple of months, Apple has been seeking even more engineering prowess to work on products with medical sensors. Earlier this year, two notable people from the medical sensor world joined Apple to work on the team behind the iWatch’s hardware vision. Apple has hired away Nancy Dougherty from startup Sano Intelligence and Ravi Narasimhan from general medical devices firm Vital Connect. In her former job, Dougherty was in charge of hardware development. Narasimhan was the Vice President of Research and Development at his previous employer.

Gurman also says he's heard Apple is exploring iris scanning — something we saw in action from Eyelock on #CESlive — and facial recognition.

Current smartwatches are focused on notification, at doing a subset of existing mobile computing tasks in a more convenient way. They could be more, however, and not just iBeacons-on-the-go. Fitness, health monitoring, and other wearables need to converge, just like smartphones did a decade ago, to become greater than the some of their parts. We're on the brink of smarter, more contextual sensors both in our devices and on our bodies.

The question remains, how exactly will Apple go about doing it, and when?

Source: 9to5Mac

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 15 comments. Add yours.

emjayess says:

Can't wait to find out--Apple's the organization that will do it right!

jeddo45 says:

If there is one thing to appreciate about Apple, they are good about products that will work, maybe expect for Apple Maps(talking of recent years). I know the iwatch will be one of the best smart watches on the market when it gets released because they aren't scared to take their time to plan and develop.

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ndogdrumz says:

One word to describe Apple? Reliability.

Rene Ritchie says:

Apple tends to be patient, to take their time, and then to offer something very mainstream and accessible. I'm hoping for the same with the watch.

Dev from tipb says:

Maybe this is more of a question to ask at imore's sister site, but I have a hard time understanding all the breathless anticipation around the watch. As Tony Kornheiser (smart-ass sports columnist/TV guy) said after watching the original Samsung Galaxy Gear commercial with all the clips from Dick Tracy to Knight Rider:

"Doesn't the fact that the latest clip is from like 1983 show that we've all figured out it's not that great of an idea?"

nit wit says:

I won't buy another smart watch before this one is released. It will put every other to shame.

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zdn1042 says:

I hope Apple really hit the mark when it comes to smartwatches' features. A lot of the smartwatches released recently are, yes they're nice, but more or less just the same. I'm hoping Apple will bring something new and unique to this type of technology that will make it a must-buy for the mainstream consumers.

s2mac says:

Awesome stuff!
A feature of a health / fitness app I have been dreaming about for years would be based on health monitoring hardware I imagine this could be like.

Let's say I have a fitness goal: building more muscle.
They say food is 80% of achieving that goal.
For that I need to eat certain things, have a constant flow of proteine & other stuff in my blood.
The app could monitor the different levels I have in my blood and alert me when I need to eat proteine, vitamins, less fat, etc.
It could truly give me insight in the impact food and workout have on my body - a key to achieving the goals I have.

Immediately seeing the consequences of a certain action is golden.
So much valuable opportunities, I love it.

Rene Ritchie says:

Agreed! I'm not sure the market is any bigger than Apple TV (hobby rather than leg), but I'm incredible excited to see what they do.

s2mac says:

The market for 'need some assistance with losing weight' is probably pretty big.

If it could analyze my blood and heart rate it would know when I sleep, exercise and eat and it can register what that does to my body in terms of energy levels for example.
By monitoring me for a period of time it would be able to know what works for me and what doesn't. If my goal is to have more energy, it could give me exact sleeping, eating and exercising rituals that work for me to be on the top of my energy game and get the most out of my day.

But for a watch-like device to be valuable it could be way more trivial than that.
To my knowledge a watch is close to your tendons in your wrist that move your fingers.
Interpreting the movements of your tendons would allow a device to know how your fingers move.
You wouldn't have to touch anything for it to know you make the 'turn a page' movement in your digital books on both the Mac and iPad.
The same would work when looking for things to watch on your Apple TV.
I'm not sure what movements would work and would be a better alternative for existing input commands, but it beats headbanging like a hardrocker when moving through email conversations on Google Glass. People will probably rather move one finger through the air with the 'flip a page' movement, comfortably resting their hand on the armchair or whatever.

uwatto says:

I can't wait to see the iwatch but I hope Siri gets a lot smarter and more accurate for the iwatch to really work smoothly. Last thing I need is cancelling and repeating my self only to have to pull my phone out in the end

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richard451 says:

So apple will be scanning our fingerprints, retinas and monitoring all our vitals? Sounds great. Funny Thais hasn't sounded any privacy alarms off.

asuperstarr says:

I hope someone come with a compelling watch that is worth buying. Right now nothing moves me.

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