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Better sleep may be your best incentive to own wearable technology this year

Better sleep may be your best incentive to own wearable technology this year
Better sleep may be your best incentive to own wearable technology this year
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Late Wednesday, rumors sprouted in earnest that Apple has just hired Roy J.E.M Raymann, a prominent and accomplished sleep researcher from Philips.

Raymann, an expert in his field, has a solid reputation distinguished by a lengthy record of studying how sensors, wearables, and other non-medicinal methods can help people improve their sleep habits and obtain more restful sleep.

Before joining Apple, Raymann served as a senior scientist at Philips Research working as a lead on various sleep related research projects. He founded the Philips Sleep Experience Laboratory, a non-clinical sleep research facility, and also leads projects researching various aspects of sleep and activity monitoring through the Philips’ Consumer Lifestyle Sleep Research Program and the company’s Brain, Body, and Behavior group.

According to 9to5Mac, Apple's overture to Raymann is the latest compelling evidence that Apple's forthcoming smartwatch - effectively but unofficially dubbed "iWatch' across the tech blogosphere - is coming... and soon.

Although Apple wouldn't be the first hardware maker to incorporate sleep-monitoring tools into a mobile or wearable device, it would be among the biggest. Nonetheless, some industry analysts and sleep specialists would like to see Apple, Google, Samsung, and the entire smattering of current or prospective wearable device makers go one step further by implementing technology that can treat as well as track sleep.

In the past year alone, groundbreaking scientific advancements have manifested in consumer technologies that are slowly but steadily bumping to the wayside a litany of potentially dangerous, addictive, or ineffectual sleeping pills and related drugs. And experts say that the time is finally right for these resources to be harnessed for the advancement of wearable tech and the improved health and wellness of modern mobile users.

Last year, for example, a new mobile sleep app called Sleep Genius launched on iOS and Android that received national attention and critical acclaim in response to its impressive scientific pedigree. Developed by experts in neuroscience, sleep, sound, and music, Sleep Genius has been hailed as a veritable game changer within the crowded and primarily ineffective ocean of sleep apps that overpopulate the App Store and Google Play.

With scientific research lending validity to claims that apps like Sleep Genius are both safe and highly effective, pressure is mounting on the world's leading tech makers to capitalize on a ripe opportunity to begin fusing technologies and resources to create the ultimate wearable tech solution for the benefit of consumers' minds and bodies.

As of this writing, Apple is yet to formally confirm the existence or even prospect of a smartwatch. But the resounding majority of supply chain sources and industry analysts have little doubt. Before the end of 2014, they say, Apple's flag will be firmly planted in the terrain of wearable tech. The only question remaining is whether the solutions offered will go far enough to really give consumers something they're yet to see - a wearable device that not only monitors their well-being but does something to tangibly improve it.

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