Apple hires lead software engineer from Atlas Wearables

“A few weeks ago, Apple executive Eddy Cue boldly claimed that Apple’s 2014 product pipeline was the best he’s seen in 25 years. And for someone that was around for the release of both the iPhone and iPad, that’s quite a lofty statement,” Yoni Heisler reports for Network World.Of course, the product everyone is expecting Apple to release this coming Fall is a wearable device that the media has already dubbed the ‘iWatch.'”

“ust a few days ago, The Wall Street Journal reported that the iWatch ‘will include more than 10 sensors to track and monitor health and fitness data.’ Indeed, it’s well known that Apple over the last 18-24 months has hired a plethora of engineers with expertise in various biometric and biosenor technologies,” Heisler reports. “Most recently, Apple hired Alex Hsieh away from Atlas Wearables. According to LinkedIn, Hsieh was hired as a firmware developer at Apple in June 2014.”

“Hsieh previously spent 8 months as the lead software engineer at Atlas Wearables, a fitness tracker akin to other wearable devices, albeit on steroids,” Heisler reports. “Though not available for sale just yet (it’s still in prototype form), the Atlas device promises to measure a user’s calories burned, heart rate, and distance traveled during a particular workout. The device can purportedly evaluate a user’s form during various exercises while also keeping track of reps and sets performed. This past October, VentureBeat called Atlas the coolest startup from the TechStars Demo day: ‘During a short demo, [Atlas co-founder Peter Li] brought a personal trainer on stage to show that Atlas’ tech can distinguish between multiple activities, including steps, squats, curls, and more. Hell, the thing could even distinguish between a regular pushup and a triangle pushup. You can look at the data after a workout and immediately see what you still need to do. Li also said the data can be used to predict when you’re about to hit a plateau, making your workouts count every time.'”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Bill” for the heads up.]

7 Comments

  1. It doesn’t matter what it is, Wall Street will be disappointed by any iWatch. It’s not going to sell for more than an iPhone or even an iPad, so unless the margins are massively higher and every iOS owner buys one it’s not going to make more money and Wall Street are obsessed with the next big thing and by big thing they mean money maker.

  2. I just hope that people don’t expect iPhone or even Mac like sales from this stuff. The fitness market is large, but not as large as the smartphone market.

    Unless it does spectacularly well, Apple’s so called iWatch will be labeled a failure, much like the iPhone 5c. All people think about is “the next big thing.”

    There was pent up demand for a break through mobile phone. People would always ask me, “When is Apple going to make a phone?” or “I wish Apple would make a phone.” I got those comments from the butcher the baker the genetics scientist, the bus driver and so on.

    No one has ever said to me, “Gee, I hate my watch. When is Apple going to make a watch.” or “I wish Apple would make a watch.”

    In this little bubble where those of us interested read about and discuss tech day in and day out, we talk about wearables. Fanatic analysts looking for the next big thing talk about wearables, but outside of that bubble, I don’t hear much.

    Fitness is the killer app for wearables. Almost anything else you can think of your smartphone does just fine. I really don’t need notifications on a watch. I can reach in my shirt pocket and read it from the phone I’m carrying.

    I will buy one, then try to lose a bunch of weight and say, “I owe it all to the Apple iWatch and McDonalds. It was the constant exercise feedback and encouragement given to me by the iWatch and the delicious and healthy meals from McDonalds that made it all possible.” See if I can get on the talk show circuit. See if I can start a fad.

  3. Given that Apple are still hiring what could be considered key people to develop this thing, this leads one to think the release of the anticipated product could be a year or more away. Apple are hiring people to do R&D that is yet to be done, and that R&D won’t happen with a snap of the fingers.

  4. This is incredibly cool. So what Atlas does:

    1) record the type of exercise, number of reps and sets you are doing
    2) correct you on your form based on recordings from experts
    3) count calories burned
    4) share and compare results with others

    So, it has been reported that Kobe Bryant and other athletes are testing the iWatch when they exercise. I wonder if the Atlas algorithms are baked into the iWatch and these athletes’ workouts are being recorded for iWatch users to emulate. For example, the Kobe Bryant workout might be shooting twenty three-pointers in five minutes and ten fades in two minutes, etc. iWatch users could try to compete with what Kobe did and others doing the same workout. There might even be style points; the technique used for shooting the ball. Apply this to all sports and workouts. Now, how cool is that, Chicken Fat?!?

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