A new health wristwatch may resuscitate Microsoft’s HealthVault platform

A new health wristwatch may resuscitate Microsoft’s HealthVault platform

Above: Drawing of the Microsoft smartwatch from the patent application.

Image Credit: U.S. Patent Office

Rumors of a new health-focused wristwatch from Microsoft have been swirling for some time now, and a digital health industry source told VentureBeat that those rumors are true.

What’s more, Microsoft may be in a particularly strong position to capitalize on a health-focused smartwatch, since its HealthVault data platform — which has been in existence for years and just got a refresh on June 10 — is a perfect place to store and use data from the device.

Microsoft has been trying to recruit designers and engineers in Silicon Valley to work on the device, our source said.

This seems to corroborate a late May report in Forbes citing unnamed sources saying that such a watch was in the works, although the report revealed few details of the health applications of the watch.

A patent for the device was filed two years ago. In early May the U.S. Patent Office published a 2012 Microsoft patent application describing a wristwatch with sensors in the band to detect heart rate and other biometrics.

From the application: “When the information device 12 is worn by the user, the light emitter 82 is configured to emit a light into the skin of a user, and the light sensor 84 is configured to sense reflected light from the emitter to measure a biometric parameter of a user.”

The sensors on Microsoft's Kinect can detect heart rate based on gradual facial changes while gaming or exercising.

Microsoft has some experience using light sensors for health and fitness applications in consumer products.

The motion sensors in Microsoft’s Kinect gaming interface can detect gradual changes in the users’ faces to measure your breathing, estimate your heart rate, and even figure out your calorie burn rate.

And, sure enough, most of the engineers and designers listed on the health watch patent come from the Xbox group.





Source: Venturebeat - Read the original article here

Author: Daily Tech Whip

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