Apple share price: Company reportedly hires sleep expert to work on iWatch

on Feb 6, 2014
Updated: Apr 9, 2020
Listen, Thursday, February 6: Apple Inc, the world’s most valuable technology company, has reportedly hired a sleep expert to work on its long-rumoured wearable gadget, the iWatch.

According to a report on Tuesday by technology blog 9to5Mac, the Cupertino-based company has recently brought on board Roy J.E.M Raymann from Philips Research, an expert on sleep research with extensive experience in wearables, sensors, and non-pharmacological methods of improving sleep quality. The blog said Philips Research had confirmed that “as of January 1 Roy has left the company,” though the firm would not confirm or deny whether he left for a position at the iPhone maker.

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In today’s pre-market trading, Apple shares declined 0.5 percent to $509.84, after closing up 0.75 percent at $512.59 yesterday on the Nasdaq.
**Health focus**
The latest rumour related to the iWatch suggests that the device may have sensors to track how users sleep. There are already some apps and wearable devices, capable of tracking this information. One such example is FitBit – a fitness tracking wearable device that can track sleeping patterns and calculate sleep efficiency.

The rumour also adds to the recently proposed notion that Apple may have plans to make health monitoring a big part of the iWatch. Last month it was reported that Apple has hired two medical tech experts to boost the engineering team working on the wearable gadget (Apple share price: New hirings fuel iWatch rumours). One of the hirings – Nancy Dougherty – headed hardware development at start-up Sano Intelligence, working on a patch that lets the wearer read their blood glucose levels without the need for a blood sample.

The health-care approach seems to be gaining popularity amongst wearable gadget makers. Earlier this year, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced a partnership with the US’s biggest optical health insurance provider Vision Service Plan (VSP) to offer subsidised frames and prescription lenses for its wearable computing device Google Glass (Google share price: Company unveils new Glass frames). The online search giant is also working on a prototype of a smart contact lens that uses a wireless chip and a miniaturised glucose sensor to measure glucose levels in tears.

J. P. Gownder, a wearable tech-focused analyst at Forester, believes that deepening ties with the health care system is what could lead wearables to success.
“By embedding [wearables] into the health care system, you can reach a mass market,” he told The New York Times at the time of Google’s announcement of the partnership with VSP.
**As of 14:02 UTC buy Apple shares at $510.24**
**As of 14:02 UTC sell Apple shares at $510.02**
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