At its Voice of the Body event in San Francisco, Samsung has announced a new modular hardware reference platform for wearable sensors called Simband.
It looks like a cross between Sony Core and Google Android Wear in that while it's Samsung's reference design, third-party software and hardware partners can use Simband's tech to develop their own "advanced sensors, algorithms and other technologies."
The Simband prototype band Samsung showed off featured an array of sensors that track metrics such as heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels. Designed for energy efficiency, the band has a shuttle battery that users can plug in to charge it while they're inactive, like when they're sleeping. Once it's charged, users can pop out the battery and carry on with their day.
Other Simband prototype specs include a 14 x 34mm (half the size of an SD card) body, a 1Ghz 2x ARM A7 28nm chipset and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on board. Of course, the band is something Samsung cooked up for demonstration purposes, and the possibilities of what hardware and health-tracking software makers can do with Simband seem wide open.
To that end, a Simband device's parts are modular, able to be swiped out for whatever hardware and health care tech providers feel like including.
Simbanding into the future
Simband, Samsung said, won't be sold commercially and will instead serve as a launching point for future wearables.
Samsung Vice President of Digital Health Ram Fish explained that Samsung wanted to create "a common platform for wearable sensor development."
"We believe that once we are all working from this common platform, sensor technology will accelerate," he continued, noting wearable sensors will become more accurate, offer more valuable insight and be brought to market more quickly with a common platform in place.
Fish called Simband the first open reference sensor module and stressed Samsung's commitment to keeping it that way for all to utilize.
"Open software, open hardware and even open mechanical design" are hallmarks of Simband, Fish said.
A Simband SDK is due before the end of the year.
SAMI I am
The Korean firm also outlined the Samsung Architecture for Multimodal Interactions, or SAMI, a cloud-based open software platform that collects data from various sources for further analysis.
Instead of watching body metric data come in one virtual ear and out the other, SAMI helps devices and sensors store data in the cloud no matter where comes from or how it gets there. Samsung swears SAMI is secure and won't be used by third-parties.
With the data gathered, apps and services can create better feedback, Samsung said.
Samsung said together Simband and SAMI will help take our understanding of our bodies to the next level.
- The Samsung Galaxy S5 is certainly part of this fitness equation
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Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook. A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.