Is Samsung looking to upstage Apple's Healthbook?

Faith Merino · May 2, 2014 · Short URL:

Samsung sends out save-the-date notices for a health-focused media event May 28

Is Samsung attempting to upstage Apple with its own health event less than a week before Apple is expected to unveil Healthbook? That’s what it looks like, according to a save-the-date notice Samsung just sent out for a May 28 media event.

In lieu of concrete details, the cryptic save-the-date notice says only: "A new conversation around health is about to begin. Be there when it starts."

Apple is expected to unveil its new and much-hyped Healthbook app at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference on June 2.

9to5 Mac previously reported that Apple is going to bring a unique health focus to iOS 8 with “Healthbook,” which will come with the usual monitors: calories burned, steps taken, miles walked, etc. Big deal. But here’s where Apple is going beyond just trying to build its own Fitbit or Basis: Healthbook will also be able to monitor the user’s vital signs, including heart rate, blood pressure, hydration, and possibly even blood data points like glucose levels.

Many anticipate that Healthbook will work in conjunction with Apple’s new iWatch, which may be solar powered, magnetically charged, or even powered by movement (via magnets that move along a circuit board when the user swings his or her arm while walking).

It’s looking like Apple won’t be unveiling the iWatch at WWDC, however. That’s according to a report from Re/Code’s John Paczkowski. The company may not even unveil Healthbook, choosing instead to use the conference purely to debut the new OS X 10.10 and iOS 8.

So what might Samsung unveil? It has been delving into the health space as of late with the Galaxy S5, which comes with a heart rate monitor and pedometer, both of which transmit data back to the S Health app. And earlier this year, Samsung revealed its new health tracker, Gear Fit, which comes with all the standard tracking: distance, time, activity, sleep, calories burned, heart rate, steps taken, etc. But it also comes with some cool smartwatch features, including missed call notifications, email notifications, text message notifications, music remote handling, and more.

One would hope that Gear Fit would do better than the widely panned Galaxy Gear smartwatch flop, but so far, the reviews have been mixed. For one thing, the wearer has to manually program the device to start tracking a specific activity, otherwise it won’t. Additionally, Gear Fit only works with certain Galaxy devices, the user can’t load apps onto it, and the price tag is double that of comparable devices, like the Fitbit Flex. 


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