Apple has added yet another expert to its ever-expanding ranks of experts in wearables, sensors, health, and fitness. The company hired Roy J.E.M Raymann, an expert in sleep research who was formerly a senior scientist at Philips Research and a member of the Dutch Society for Sleep-Wake Research.
According to 9to5Mac's Jordan Kahn, Mr. Raymann founded the Philips Sleep Experience Laboratory, a non-clinical sleep research facility. He also worked on unspecified research projects dealing with sleep monitoring and activity monitoring, and he worked with Philips's Lifestyle Sleep Research Program and another group called Brain, Body, and Behavior.
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Mr. Raymann left Philips as of January 1st, though we don't know when he started at Apple. Other hires who recently been ferreted out include Michael O'Reilly, MD, formerly the Chief Medical Officer of Masimo Corporation; Jay Blahnik of Nike; Javi Narasimhan, who served as vice president of research at Vital Connect; Nancy Dougherty who was in charge of hardware at the transdermal medicine delivery company Sano; Ueyn Block, who was director of optics and systems engineering at C8 MediSensors; and, Todd Whitehurst who worked at Senseonics as vice president of product development.
That's quite the arsenal of high end bad assess, and that's just some of the people we know about. There's also Ben Shaffer, the shoe guy from Nike, and the fashion guy from Yves St Laurent named Paul Deneve, and who knows how many folks whose hiring has remained under the radar.
And all the while, Apple CEO Tim Cook has made it clear (using Cook Code™) that his company has its eyes on the wrist. In May of 2013, Mr. Cook told the D conference, "I'm interested in a great product. I wear glasses because I have to. I don't know a lot of people who wear them because they don't have to. I think from a mainstream point of view, glasses are risky. To convince people they have to wear something, it has to be incredible."
Apple's hires in this area represent a significant capital investment, for the segment if not for Apple's absurdly huge cash hoard, and the focus on health, fitness, sleep, and activity suggests the company wants to make a serious impact with whatever it's making.
I, for one, can't wait to find out what it is.
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