Less than a week before Apple is anticipated to take the stage at WWDC and reveal a health-focused addition to iOS, competing Samsung on Wednesday revealed a healthcare initiative of its own with a $50 million innovation fund and brand-new hardware and software platforms.
“Samsung’s Digital Health Initiative offers an amazing chance for the brightest minds in the technology world to come together to develop the products that will, for the very first time, put individuals in the vehicle driver’s seat in comprehending their own health and health,” Samsung executive Young Sohn stated in a release.
To start development, Samsung unveiled a wearable hardware reference design– dubbed Simband– and a going along with cloud-based software architecture the company is calling the Samsung Architecture for Multimodal Interactions, or SAMI.
Simband is a modular hardware solution designed to take full advantage of battery life and enable brand-new form aspects and developments in noninvasive sensing technology. SAMI, meanwhile, will work as a safe repository for storing disorganized individual health data in the cloud, in contrast to recently-failed programs from Microsoft and Google which focused on structured medical records.
Samsung said that it does not plan to sell products based upon the Simband or SAMI platforms commercially, rather offering those technologies freely to designers.
The fund, called the Samsung Digital Health Challenge, seems aimed at offering a foundation for development using the nascent hardware and software platforms. Apple made a comparable move in the very early days of iOS, partnering with venture capital firm KPCB to introduce a $100 million iFund. The iFund strategy paid off both for Apple and KPCB, with the latter doubling it to $200 million two years later on.
Many Apple watchers expect the company to flaunt brand-new features in iOS 8 geared toward the exact same objective of looking at and showing health data from a variety of “quantified self” gadgets. The company is also believed to be deep into the development of a so-called “iWatch” that would sport an array of biometric sensors for individual fitness and health monitoring and integrate carefully with existing iOS devices.
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