Samsung Debuts Open Modular Health-Tracking Band and Cloud Platform
Ahead of the upcoming debut of iOS 8, which is expected to include Apple's "Healthbook" health aggregating platform, Samsung has announced its own health tracking platform that envelops both open modular hardware and a cloud storage solution.
Called SAMI (Samsung Architecture Multimodal Interactions), the company's cloud-based sensor data platform is designed to be entirely open to developers and "complementary" with Samsung's S Health initiative.
Alongside SAMI, Samsung showed off its Simband, a reference device that includes a multitude of wearable sensors with several different health-tracking functions. Designed to be an open reference sensor module, Simband offers the standard accelerometers to measure movement along with an ECG sensor and a sensor that measures skin temperature.
The device, which offers miniaturized electronics along with Bluetooth and WiFi, also shows off a removable "shuttle battery" that clips into the band to charge it while it's being worn. As described, the battery allows the device to be worn 24/7, snapping in to charge it during sleep. The open device is multimodal and designed to be customized with interchangeable components, allowing hardware developers to create their own hardware able to be attached to the band.
Samsung's cloud platform SAMI is designed to collect "any kind of data" from a range of devices. On stage, the platform was likened to a bank, storing and securing data privately.
Samsung president Young Sohn compared the company's health efforts to a car dashboard for the human body, aimed at giving consumers an overall picture of their wellbeing. Simband and SAMI are both open and available to developers, and Samsung has paired with early partners like PhysIQ and UCSF to develop new wearable hardware. Developers will be given access to the SAMI SDK later this year.
The company also announced a $50 million digital health challenge aimed at creating new sensors and new health-related technology.