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Samsung unveils Simband and Sami health platform aimed at third-party sensor developers

DeveloperNews
by Jamie Hinks
, 29 May 2014News
Samsung unveils Simband and Sami health platform aimed at third-party sensor developers

Samsung has taken a new march in the wearables race through a new wristband and development platform to revolutionise the way sensors are used to collect critical health data about the user.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S5 review

The Simband and Sami [Samsung Architecture Multimedia Interactions] platform, which were announced at a San Francisco press event, will be used by third-party sensor developers to collect and store data.

Both solutions feature open software, hardware and mechanical design, and Samsung’s chief strategy officer Young Sohn explained to the BBC that the plan would only work if "we all work together as one".

To this end it has already worked with Imec, a nanoelectronics research centre in Belgium, the University of California and software company TicTrac to design the software platform and is actively looking for more partners as the project develops.

As well as the wide range of sensors that can be added to the device there is also plans to include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity inside the Simband and a magnetic battery charger may be able to be attached to the product at night to enable it to be worn during sleep.

The South Korean company confirmed that it would have a “beta” version of the Sami APIs and the Simband by the end of the year so that developers can start to use it as a guinea pig to gather and manipulate many different types of data.

During the presentation, Samsung demonstrated that one way for the data to be presented is in the form of a “wellness score”. This would be interpreted as a percentage score showing how well the wristband wearer is taking care of themself.

Samsung was at pains to explain that data would remain under the control of users and it remain the user’s choice when data is shared and dubbed Sami as a “custodian” of data. It went on to point out that $6.5 trillion [£3.9 billion] is spent per year on global healthcare and one analyst went further to speculate that combining this with the burgeoning fitness, sports and activity monitors market could be a particular boon.

"The platform behind the actual Simband shows that Samsung want to be a key player in the internet of things and big data game, possibly signalling that going forward Samsung wants to be more like Google than Apple," said Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

Related: An in-depth at how wearable technology will develop in 2014

Samsung will shed more light on the wristband and accompanying platform at its annual developers conference that looks like it will take place in October.

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