Toshiba has announced a major foray into the world of Internet of Things fitness-tracking. On May 7, it’s going to launch both an HDK and an SDK that together will provide a platform a biometric athletics-tracking platform the company is calling TZ1000.
The system is meant for integration into a range of IoT devices, but its applications pretty clearly revolve around health and fitness tracking. It will be able to monitor users’ cardiac rates and pulses at the most basic level, and Toshiba says it’s continuing to work on software that can “measure weak biological signals” such as electrical activity, pulse waves, and ambient environmental conditions. In addition to its biometric sensor, the platform will include a processor and flash memory, and, importantly, a Bluetooth Low Energy controller, which will prove essential if it’s going to be incorporated into smaller, everyday devices.
It’s a smart niche to explore for Toshiba. While there’s already a plethora of fitness-tracking devices on the market, there is a growing place for this kind of biometric technology in more serious healthcare applications; and now that a number of major interests are starting to pour money into R&D for the IoT, there will likely be many companies looking to offer products that incorporate exactly this kind of technology. Moreover, the potential for big data analytics to use IoT technology for macro-scale health analysis could be transformative on a larger societal level going forward, and Toshiba’s technology could play its own part in that.