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Apple hires sleep expert for iWatch project

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Clues continue to emerge about the direction that Apple is taking with its rumored iWatch smartwatch. The latest clue is Apple's hiring of Dr. Roy J.E.M Raymann from Philips Research, which 9to5Mac reported on Tuesday.

Raymann is more than just a sleep expert, though. He also has extensive experience in wearable devices in general, sensors, and "non-pharmacological methods of improving sleep quality."

It's been said that the iWatch isn't just a smartwatch akin to the Pebble or the Galaxy Gear. Instead, it's believed that the iWatch will be fitness-focused, and including some sort of sleep monitoring or sleep quality functionality would therefore make a lot of sense.

Raymann joins a number of other rumored iWatch-centric hires. In January, it was reported that Apple had hired two medical technology experts, Ravi Narasimhan from general medical devices firm Vital Connect and Nancy Dougherty from startup Sano Intelligence.

Narasimhan worked with biosensor technology to measure vitals such as skin temperature and respiration rate. Meanwhile, Dougherty's research at Sano Intelligence was centered on the development of a patch that lets the wearer read their blood glucose levels without needing to take a blood sample.

Dougherty's research obviously was focused on the burgeoning and global diabetes problem. In mid-January, Google announced it was in the process of testing smart contact lenses that could monitor an end user's glucose readings through his or her tears.

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