Samsung is a mammoth organization, whose labyrinthine bowels include several divisions and departments which are focused on a myriad of subjects. We had reported earlier that Samsung would hold an all about health event on the 28th May at San Francisco and were speculating that a new S Band would be announced. The S Band as a health accessory was initially announced along with the Samsung Galaxy S4, however it did not pick off with the mainstream. Even now the S Band is an elusive device and is pretty difficult to lay ones hands on. Since some new promotional material had leaked for the S Band along the same time the May 28th event got announced, we were hoping to see the new S band being announced at the event.
We were wrong. Stefan Heuser, VP of Operations at Samsung’s Strategy and Innovation Center (SSIC) has clarified that “it is not a product announcement” to Re/Code. The SSIC is a division of Samsung Electronics which works on “core, underlying technologies” and forms a part of the business segment that manufactures components – chips, storage etc. In news reported earlier this year, Samsung Electronics had partnered with the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) to speed up innovation in preventive health technologies. In the words of Michael Blum, MD and UCSF’s Associate Vice-Chancellor, “there are many new sensors and devices coming onto the market for consumers, but without medical validation, most of these will have limited impacts on health. Meanwhile, many practitioners also have creative ideas for new devices, but they lack the technological knowledge to fully develop them.” Samsung and UCSF believe this partnership will marry both these different worlds – the medical science and research expertise of UCSF along with the technological superiority and resources of Samsung.
It is therefore highly possible that we may see some innovative preventive health technologies coming up during this event. However, these new tech, whatever they are, may eventually end up on our smartphone devices as well – we already have heart rate sensors on the current flagship from Samsung – the Samsung Galaxy S5. The future is promising.