Apple hires sleep research expert Roy J.E.M Raymann from Philips for iWatch team


Joining a longlist of Apple executives and new hires thought to be working on Apple’s highly anticipated iWatch project, the company has recently picked up Roy J.E.M Raymann from Philips Research, an expert on sleep research with extensive experience in wearables, sensors, and non-pharmacological methods of improving sleep quality. The possibilities here are absolutely fascinating…

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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 lead projects researching various aspects of sleep and activity monitoring through the Philips’ Roy_Raymann-01Consumer Lifestyle Sleep Research Program and the company’s Brain, Body, and Behavior group. Raymann’s research covers many projects related to monitoring and modulating sleep patterns through non-medical means. For example, he has written extensively on “mild skin warming” as a non-pharmacological method of altering “sleep-pressure, sleep quality and alertness.” He also has extensive experience in researching wearable sensors and miniaturization of sensors related to tracking sleep and alertness activity.

Philips Research confirmed “that as of January 1 Roy has left the company,” but wouldn’t confirm or deny if he left for a position at Apple.

Tracking sleep patterns is one area that has been a focus for some of the popular fitness tracking products on the market such as the FitBit and could be one feature Apple attempts to incorporate into iWatch. The FitBit products, for example, are capable of tracking movements to provide data on sleep patterns and calculate sleep efficiency. It also offers the ability to silently wake the user through vibrations without disturbing others. There are also a number of third-party iPhone connected devices and apps designed to improve and track sleeping habits.

In addition to leaving his position at Philips Research, Raymann left his role at the Dutch Society for Sleep-Wake Research in December after three years as a member of the scientific committee at the organization, according to his LinkedIn page. We previously reported that Apple had hired other workers for the iWatch team from various companies that specialize in devices that could analyze sleep patterns.

We reported as far back as July of last year that Apple had begun assembling a team of sensor and fitness experts to work under key Apple executives on its much rumored wearables project. Since, has Apple continued to hire other experts from medical and fitness fields with experience in everything from sensor-packed medical monitoring devices to biomedical technologies, glucose sensors, and general fitness devices.

Most recently we reported Apple is developing an app codenamed “Healthbook” that would be capable of tracking fitness related statistics and monitoring vital signs like blood pressure, heart rate, hydration levels and more.

Mark Gurman contributed to this report

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  1. MaRico NoHands Spikes - 9 years ago

    Apple is going for no mercy, hurry take my money already

  2. muttathil - 9 years ago

    Can’t wait for this device and the HealthBook app!

  3. How disruptive, Apple ;)

  4. if anyone needs help falling asleep just watch a Samsung product presentation.

  5. rekalal - 9 years ago

    Now I am losing sleep because of this news!!

  6. frostie4flakes - 9 years ago

    The diverse team suggests to me that there maybe more than one product in the iWatch ecosystem. Please, Apple, take my money just a little bit at a time!

  7. compumd - 9 years ago

    Who wears their watch to bed? Honestly not that appealing to me – what am I missing.

    • Bispo Guerra - 9 years ago

      In this case cease to be a clock to become a sleep inducer.

      I remembered what M$ said when the iPhone was released.

    • frostie4flakes - 9 years ago

      That’s why I think there are multiple devices. Who knows?

    • Dan Ayd - 9 years ago

      I do. It’s an automatic submariner…google it. Needs to be wound so a little tossing and turning keeps my watch on-time. I also sleep with my iPhone on the mattress next to me so the crickets can quietly wake me up without waking my wife. If the iWatch looks classy, and can do other things I want my phone to do I just might get one…but nothing, IMHO, beats the look of a Rolex.

  8. I think a cool feature for the iWatch would be to make it waterproof. Also throw in inductive charging and we’re as good as gold.

  9. It would be even better if his name was R.E.M. Raymann.

  10. acslater017 - 9 years ago

    If this thing lives up to all the recent patents, hires, and purchases, this thing will be a marvel of technology.

    A sapphire wristband that monitors sleep, blood pressure, oxygenation, pulse, blood sugar, steps, calories, distance, etc. would snuff all the oxygen out of the health/fitness category.

    Although chances are, it will not be technically feasible to deliver all of these on the first iteration.

    • frostie4flakes - 9 years ago

      As I say, it just might be more than one thing. Remember new tech additions to the iPhone! That might be a complementary part of this ecosystem. I see Apple possibly moving into a phase where complementary devices may add value and extend the impact of a new iPhone tablet, etc. Why not?

  11. Isn’t this kind of a late hire if the product is supposed to ship in the fall?

    • Tallest Skil - 9 years ago

      Your problem is that you believe anything that has been written about the product even existing at any time.

  12. Brian Murphy - 9 years ago

    Oh good, a device for the only 8 hours I’m not already using a device.

  13. Rafael Kireyev - 9 years ago

    In today’s rather noisy cities desire to sleep off often becomes a dream. There are frequencies that we cannot hear or simply don’t notice. Therefore, even a simple analysis of night sounds will be very useful.

  14. darthlarry - 9 years ago

    my iphone battery lasts 12 hours. if i sleep with this thing on, when am i supposed to charge it?

    • Dan Ayd - 9 years ago

      Apple has tech to charge wirelessly from distances up to 5 feet I believe, plus various iWatch patents that use motion for charging.

  15. RP - 9 years ago

    This is sounding more and more like a Must-Have product. Everyone else is just sitting back letting apple develop the product and technology so they can copy and paste it once it is released.

  16. Stephane Beladaci - 9 years ago

    Not to forget: Apple allegedly hired Adobe’s CTO Kevin Lynch to run the iWatch project and we all know where the idea came from, check this Adobe Flash video from 4 years ago:


Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.