​Samsung’s new Simband is a fitness tracker on steroids

Updated reference band gives developers a chance to get their hands dirty
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Samsung has revealed its new Simband, a futuristic super-device that will be used by developers to code new apps and imagine new features for the next generation of wearable tech.

The Simband is what's known as a reference design, which means it's not intended to go on sale to consumers. Instead, it's intended for developers looking to get their hands on the most complete set of sensors possible.

While Simband looks like the Samsung Gear S, a closer glance reveals sensors embedded into nearly every surface of the watch. There are six in total including step counting and heart rate – nothing new there – but also blood pressure, skin temperature and sweat gland monitoring.

The design is also modular, which means developers can add their own sensors onto the watch, as they design and realise new ways to expand wearable technology's capabilities.

Guide: What Samsung Gear smartwatch should you buy?

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Samsung's hoping that medical tech researchers will snap up the Simband, to create new applications, which will add deeper health features to the existing fitness tracking tech.

All data from the device is stored in the cloud using a service called SAMI, which no doubt will help Samsung develop hone and develop apps such as S Health, based on the data collected from Simband users.

Essential reading: Best cheap fitness tracker

From today, developers can get access to the SDKs and APIs for Simband (that's basically all the back end gumph that make apps possible), and buy a device for themselves to play with.

While Apple and Google have both made plays to become hubs for health data, it seems that Samsung wants to play the long game. By hoovering up health stats in the cloud and letting medical professionals use its supercharged devices, we could see some seriously advanced health tech coming out of Korea soon.

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James Stables

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James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and T3.com and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.


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