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Did You Know?
The top reason Gen Z workers are unemployed is because they quit. This is often due to having unmet expectations such as higher pay, flexibility and benefits.
Offer your teenage employees a personalized career plan for their professional development. This will not only directly help each worker but also benefit the company’s performance and help you retain motivated employees.
To grow a workforce that fosters a positive culture and strong performance, businesses should hire the candidates who are most qualified, within the confines of local, state and federal laws.Legalities of hiring minors
Depending on the type of business you own, there are special legal considerations to be aware of when you’re deciding whether to hire minors.Work permits
Seek the necessary documents that allow you to hire minors. These may include work permits, age certificates or both. To find out your state’s requirements, you can use the DOL’s table of employment and age certification chart. Be aware that once you receive your new employee’s work permit, it will typically expire within a year, so you will need to repeat the process when appropriate.Minimum wage
According to the FLSA, companies may be permitted to pay what’s called the “opportunity wage,” of $4.25 per working hour, to minors or anyone under 20 years old for their first 90 days of work. After that point, employers are required to pay the workers the state-set minimum wage or more. This depends on the state or locality employers and workers reside in, since some have regulations calling for a higher minimum wage for minors and others don’t allow payment lower than the state minimum wage at any time.Age requirements for certain work
The FLSA doesn’t allow minors to work in any jobs that are considered hazardous. Workers under age 16, especially, are not authorized to work in any heavy-duty manufacturing jobs, mining, transportation, construction, machine operation or utility services to the public. This is a large part of the reason the aforementioned food safety sanitation provider was fined. Check your local and state laws for any other exceptions or constraints you’ll need to be mindful of.How to determine if hiring minors is worth it
The best way to determine if hiring minors is worth it is to consider the specifics of your business, the goals you are trying to achieve, the role the minor would be filling, and whether you have the time and resources. Will you be able to strike a balance between providing a work experience that benefits both you and the minor, or will you merely be occupying their time and offering little reward?
Hiring minors might be worth it if …
You need assistance with tedious, non-revenue-generating tasks, like file organization.
Your business is targeted at Gen Z or Gen Alpha, giving you the opportunity to get insights from someone in a similar age group.
You want to mentor teens in your community.
Hiring minors might not be worth it if …
You don’t have the time to supervise them as necessary.
Most roles deal with sensitive, confidential information or dangerous conditions.
You don’t have the HR staff or resources to keep up with legal regulations.
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Over time, you’ll begin noticing that launching programs on your PC starts to take longer than usual to load. The overall performance begins to diminish and it’s quite obvious that your beloved computer is no longer running on all cylinders.
This is due in part to the files on your computer becoming fragmented and no longer working as they should. It’s at this time that a manual optimization may be required.
Table of Contents
Older versions of Windows used the Disk Defragmenter tool. To help keep your PC speed topped out, Windows 10 includes its own built-in tool to defragment all fragmented files.How To Defrag Windows 10. Is It Worth It?
By default, Windows 10 has scheduled optimization turned on automatically. At least once a week, your disk drives, namely the C: drive, are automatically optimized to help your computer run more efficiently or analyzed to determine if optimization is required.
However, even though Windows 10 can accurately detect the type of storage and handle defragmentation of the files automatically, it may not always be as optimal as it lets on. This is usually because the PC isn’t left on long enough for the optimization to take effect which prevents proper maintenance.Why & When To Defrag Windows 10?
Continuously saving a file places parts of that file into different volumes on your PC. As the file grows, more of it will be disbursed among volumes forcing your computer to search through multiple areas, slowing down your computer.
With the exception of SSDs, a disk defragmentation should be carried out weekly or, at the very least, once a month. Again, this is determined by the size of your hard drive and the daily use of your computer.
As already stated, Windows 10 provides users with a disk defragmentation tool that helps to rearrange and reunite the fragmented file data slowing down your PC.Optimizing Drives On Windows 10
First, prior to optimizing, you’ll want to analyze the drive(s). This way you’ll know whether or not the drive(s) need optimization in the first place.
If the results of the analysis show less than 10% fragmented, an optimization is likely not necessary.
The time it takes for the optimization process to complete is determined by the number of files, size of the drive, and extent of fragmentation. If you know the drive is large, it’s better to perform this step when you won’t be in front of your PC for an extended period.
Upon completion, the status should display as OK (0% fragmented).Setting The Optimization Schedule
The optimizations schedule is set up to run every week by default. However, if you’re an avid user of your computer then it’s best you modify the frequency in which the maintenance is run.
Windows 10 offers the option to change the frequency in which drives are optimized.
Those who use their computers often should opt for the Daily or Weekly option. Good practice, regardless of which selection you choose, is to perform at least one manual optimization per month.
The exception to this is for Solid State Drives (SSDs). SSDs use banks of memory to store data which means they don’t ever need defragmentation. Defragmentation of an SSD can actually cause performance issues and reduce the life of the drive.
Put a checkmark into each box alongside the drives you want automatically optimized on your chosen schedule.
You will still see SSDs, if you have them, in this list. Don’t be alarmed as the SSDs will not be defragged. In fact, Windows 10 will attempt to optimize these drives in a different way so it’s safe to keep them checked.Is Defragmentation Required?
The short answer is, no. Defragmentation is not required. Is it worth it? We would say that it’s very worth it but ultimately depends on how much you value your computer and your time.
The thing is, Windows 10 takes care of your computer all on its own. Even if you don’t want to perform a manual defragmentation, your operating system will still perform one for you. Your computer will continue to perform well while active so long as you don’t miss a scheduled maintenance.
Text Blaze Review – Is This Automation Tool Worth It? What Is Text Blaze? Interface
The interface of both the extension as well as the Windows application is similar. The latter can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store.Notable Features
Create Shortcuts That You Can Use Anywhere On The Web
Text Blaze lets you create text snippets that you can use anywhere on the web. You can use snippets on Google Docs, Outlook, Salesforce, Epic, Blackboard, or any other web platform of your choice and thereby boost your productivity.
Share Folders With Your Colleagues
Several Dynamic Templates and Formulas
These are the spaces for you to fill in fields like names or dates. You can include drop-down menus, text fields, toggles, and much more. These are editable fields that you can fill in. Text Blaze lets you perform calculations in your templates. You can make your template dynamic with the current date and add in your own formulas as and when needed.
Ran out of ideas for snippets? Or wish to know how a formula works? Apart from a comprehensive knowledge base that tells you how to carry out a function, there are several text templates that you can refer to.
Superb Community Support
Whether it is about asking questions and getting assistance on how to use this text snippet expander, or sharing your knowledge with other users, Text Blaze offers superb community support. You can even suggest new ideas or get updated with the latest news related to the tool.
Available Both As an Extension and Windows App
Text Blaze can be used both as a Google Chrome extension and as a text expander for Windows. So, let’s assume you don’t have access to the internet. In that scenario, you can fire up the Text Blaze Windows application and start working on it.How To Use Text Blaze?
Let’s quickly get down to how you can get started with this text expander for Windows –
1. Download the Text Blaze extension from the Chrome web store or from the website.
3. As soon as you will do that, here is how you can create a text snippet that will expand into the content you want –
On the right-hand side write a short description or Label for your snippet. E.g. – “Please find attached” since in our case, we regularly email a lot of attachments to colleagues and clients.
Type in a Shortcut that you can remember. For instance, we have used “pfa” in this case.
Next, you can head to the next section which is a full-fledged text editor. Here you can type any length of content.
That’s it! The next type when you type in your Shortcut, your text will appear automatically. Wonderful, right?
7. Pin shortcuts to the Chrome toolbar and quickly access snippets on any website.
8. You can even create dynamic snippets where you can include the current date or any of the contents of your clipboard right in your snippet. You can also include dynamic formulas while creating forms.Pricing
Text Blaze is free forever; you can get value immediately upon creating your account and not
have to pay $1.
However, Text Blaze does offer a Pro plan that adds support to all of its features. There are also
business and enterprise plans. Here are the pricing plans –
Name of the Variant Price Features
Basic Free ● Up to 20 snippets
● Up to 2,500 characters in a snippet
● Limited snippet sharing
● Trial forms support
Pro $2.99/ month billed yearly ● Up to 1,000 snippets
● Up to 25,000 characters in a snippet
● Double the snippet sharing
● Full forms support
● Images in snippets
Business $6.99/ month billed yearly ● Up to 4,000 snippets
● Up to 50,000 characters in a snippet
● Unlimited snippet sharing
● Full forms support
● Images in snippets
● Managed multi-user billing
● Snippet change history
● Last editor notifications for snippets
● Create teams with shared folders
● Consolidated organization usage statistics
● Organization-wide access controls
Enterprise Contact the team to inquire about the price ● Everything in Business, and:
● Additional billing options
● SAML Single Sign-On (SSO)
● Event-level action data
● High touch support
● User trainings
● Implementation consulting
● Dedicated feature workCustomer Support
What would you do if you get stuck with some features or say, you have license renewal issues or if you want some other assistance as far as Text Blaze is concerned? One of the first things you can do is to turn to an exhaustive knowledge base where you will find guides, tutorial videos, frequently asked questions, and more such material covering every aspect of Text Blaze.
If you still didn’t get your query resolved, you can send an email to [email protected].
Wrapping UpQuick Reaction:
About the author
Tweak Library Team
Effectiveness: It ends up being a lot more capable than I anticipated
Price: 15$/month for Pro plan and $30/month for Business
Ease of Use: Fairly easy to use though I did have some complaints
Support: Email, live chat, community forum, FAQs
Why Trust Me for This Review
You can even see proof that I experimented with Animatron — I’ve included the email from my account confirmation, and all photos included in this review are screenshots from my experimentation.
Detailed Review of Animatron Studio
Animatron is actually two products, one of which is further split into two modes. The first product is Animatron’s wave.video, which is more of a traditional video editor. You can add clips, text, stickers, stock footage, and more to make a personal or marketing video. However, we won’t be reviewing wave in this article.
Instead, we’ll be focusing on Animatron Studio, which is a web software for creating animated videos in various styles for purposes ranging from education to marketing to hobby pursuit.
Dashboard & Interface
In Lite mode, the interface has four main sections: assets, canvas, timeline, and sidebar.
The assets panel is where you’ll find items to add to your videos, like backgrounds, text, props, and audio. The canvas is where you drag these items and arrange them. The timeline lets you manage each asset, and the sidebar lets you encapsulate those into scenes that can be easily rearranged.
You may also notice some buttons along the top, such as undo/redo, import, download, and share. These are just general toolbar icons, like any other program.
In Lite mode, assets are divided into a few categories: animated sets, videos, images, backgrounds, text, audio, and project files. Note: Photos, Videos, and audios are only available to paid subscriptions.
Animated Sets: Collections of related graphics such as background and characters that often have premade animations.
Videos: Clips of live action or rendered footage that does not have the animated style.
Images: Footage from all the same categories as the video clips, but still frame and unmoving. The images are either of real people or rendered & abstract. They do not have an animated style.
Backgrounds: These are large images or artscapes that can be used as a backdrop to set the stage of your video. Most are in the animated content style rather than a real life depiction.
Text: This is your basic tool for adding any kind of words to the video. There are tons of default fonts installed, but if you need a specific one, you can use the arrow point to a box button to import your own (should be the .ttf file type). There are options for changing the font weight, alignment, size, color, and stroke (text outline).
Audio: Audio files include background music and sound effects. These are categorized into themes like “business” or “relaxing”. You can also import your own music files using the Import button in the toolbar.
Simply drag and drop your files in, and they will be added to the project library tab.
Overall, the assets library seems fairly robust. There are lots of animated sets and free footage, tons of audio files, and plenty to browse. However, I did have several complaints.
First, for a while, I thought there was no search tool for the animated sets or background tabs. After contacting support and asking them about it, the issue turned out to be a bug (and when I logged back into the software the next day, it didn’t affect me anymore). However, it’s strange that a web-based tool would have issues on Chrome, which is usually the most well-supported browser.
Second, the built-in voiceover function is severely lacking. The microphone icon is in the toolbar and offers only a recording button- no box for prompts or even a recording countdown. Furthermore, once you’re done recording and add the clip to your scene, it isn’t stored anywhere else- so if you accidentally delete it, you’re going to need to record it again.
Lastly, I found that Animatron lacked a standard “props” library. For instance, in most animation programs you can search “television” or “carrot” and see several graphics in different styles to pick from.
However, props in Animatron appear to be limited to the style of their set. I tried searching “computer”, a common prop, but although there were many results none were in the whiteboard sketch style. All seemed to be various cliparts or flat designs.
Unlike many web programs, Animatron does not have a traditional template library. There are no pre-made scenes that can be simply dropped into the timeline. The closest thing you’ll find is the animated sets.
These sets are collections of objects that can be placed in a scene together. They are more flexible than templates, because you can pick what to include or exclude, but require more effort to put together.
Overall, it’s nice that you can mix and match, but it would be helpful to have a few pre-made templates.
The timeline is where everything comes together. You add your assets, music, text, and more, then rearrange it to suit your needs.
The plus and minus signs at the end of the timeline can be used to add or subtract time from the scene.
The scenes sidebar shows you all the scenes in your project, allows you to add transitions between them, or duplicate content. You can add a new scene by pressing the + button at the top.
To add a transition, just press the blue “no transition” button. You can choose between a few options.
Save & Export
When you’re satisfied with your video, there are a few ways to share it.
The first way is “share”, which will let you share the video as embedded content, a link, a gif, or a video.
When you press continue, you’ll be asked to link a Facebook or Twitter account. Oddly, there doesn’t appear to be an option for linking to YouTube, which is normally available on video creation platforms.
Your other option is “download”. Downloading will create a file in either the HTML5, PNG, SVG, SVG Animation, Video, or GIF formats. This means you can download stills of your video, not just the moving parts. This is useful if you want to create a presentation by making non-animated scenes.
When downloading as a video, you can choose between some presets or making your own dimensions and bitrate.
Once you’re in expert mode, you’ll notice there are actually two different tabs: design and animation. These two tabs have the exact same tools, but there’s an important distinction.
In design mode, any changes you make to an object will be static, which means it will affect every frame of the object. In animation mode, any changes you make will be keyframed, and automatically appear in the timeline.
For example, if I change the position of an object in design mode, then that object will simply appear in the new position and stay there. But if I move the object in animation mode, a path will be created and during playback, the object will move from the old to a new location.
You can read more about the difference here.
Dashboard and Interface
The interface for design and animation modes is the same, only the design mode is blue while the animation mode is orange. We’ll demonstrate animation mode here since it’s the default choice.
The primary difference between Lite and Expert mode is a revamped toolbar and an expanded timeline. All other objects remain in the same place. Instead of having individual tabs for sets, backgrounds, etc, all premade assets are found in the market tab. Then, tools are available below.
There are lots of new tools in expert mode, so let’s take a look.
Selection and Direct Selection: These tools let you select objects from the scene. Using the former, you can resize an object, but the latter will only allow you to move it.
Sometimes when using the selection tool, you may see this message:
Generally, you should have no issue with either option and pick based on how complicated you need the behavior of that item to be.
Animatron does a good job providing the tools you would need to start constructing your own graphics and animations. Each of the art tools has options like stroke, opacity, color, and weight, while the selection tool will let you further tweak details like position and orientation.
Rather than plus and minus buttons to determine your scene length, you can adjust the red bar to determine how long it should be.
You’ll also notice that some items have small black diamonds in their timeline- these are keyframes. To create them, simply move the black slider to the time you want in your scene. Then, adjust a feature of your object. A black diamond will appear. When you play your video, a transition between the initial state and the keyframe will be created- for example, a movement from one side to another.
For extra fine-tuning, you can even expand an object with keyframes and tweak the specific changes.
For example, this graphic experiences translation, opacity, and scaling. I can change these individually when I expand it in the timeline.
The colored square (orange shown here) will hide or show an item from the scene.
You may also notice a few buttons on the top left of the timeline. These are to add layers, duplicate, trash, and combine layers. You can use them to simplify your workflow.
Scenes, Exporting, & Etc.
In expert mode, many features are identical to those of lite mode. You can still add assets and scenes the same way as before- drag and drop. The scenes sidebar doesn’t change and offers the same transitions. Additionally, all export and sharing options remain identical as well. The one main difference is that all assets are now in the market tab instead of their own. However, it’s all the same content.
Reasons Behind My Ratings
I was very satisfied with the pricing structure for this software. The free plan really lets you experience nearly everything, and assets are not locked in tiers – once you pay, you have access to all of them, not just some. Instead, you’ll be charged for additional storage space, publication rights, or higher export qualities.
At around 15$ a month for the Pro plan and $30 a month for the Business option, this seems like a good deal for a capable software.
Ease of Use: 3/5
Animatron is fairly easy to use, although I did have some complaints. I like that there are two modes, allowing people to get used to the program and then expand their horizons. It’s easy to pick up regardless of your goal, and you can very quickly make an introductory video. However, some things are unintuitive or difficult.
For instance, if I want to change the background to a solid color, I need to go to project settings- there are no solid backgrounds in the background tab. The overlapping timeline objects in lite mode can also be frustrating to work with, but the expert timeline is super simple by contrast, especially since you can expand it.
Interestingly, Animatron reserves email support for paid plans, so I reached out to their live chat instead for help when I couldn’t figure out why there were no search bars.
They gave me a clear and informative answer, but it definitely wasn’t in an hour like the bot claimed – I messaged them on a Monday afternoon, and did not receive a response until 2 am in the morning on Tuesday. This could perhaps be explained by time zones, but if so they should post business hours.
There’s also a community forum if you would rather find support from peers, and an extensive library of FAQ documents and videos.
I docked one star for the slow live chat experience because they didn’t live up to their own expectations, but otherwise, the support seems pretty robust and gives you plenty of options.
Alternatives to Animatron
Adobe Animate: If you really enjoy working with the animations in the expert timeline and want more power, Adobe Animate is a good next step. It’s a professional-level program with a steep learning curve, but offers an expansion of things you can experiment with in Animatron. Read our full Animate review.
VideoScribe: For a focus on whiteboard animation, VideoScribe is a good choice. They focus specifically on the whiteboard style, and offer a simpler platform than Animatron for making your videos. It may be a better fit if you’re creating educational or only whiteboard content. Read our full VideoScribe review.
To say it simply, Animatron is an all-around good program. It fills a niche for business users that will appreciate the marketing content and ad integrations, while allowing new users or hobbyists to play around with the program for free. Despite some complaints, it is very capable and I would recommend the program to anyone that wants to dip their feet in some animation and video creation.
So, do you find this Animatron review helpful? Share your thought below.
I’ve done two posts so far as part of our “Ask The Experts” series on Panda 4.0/Payday Loan 2.0 Update and then a followup a few weeks later. However, I thought now was the time for our SEJ writers to get a chance to tackle one of the hottest discussion points right now, the LinkedIn Publishing Platform.
Here’s what I asked a selection of our writers:
“The LinkedIn Publishing Platform has created buzz among content creators who are excited about the exposure it could provide. However, because best practices aren’t set, the future for it isn’t clear. What is your opinion on the future success, as well as the ramifications of the platform, including duplicate content flagging, abuse of the opportunity (using it for sales promotions instead of real content), etc?”
Thanks to our SEJ writers for their thoughtful responses:What do you think about the new LinkedIn Publishing platform?
I think publishing on LinkedIn is a great way to generate additional exposure and branding for your business…especially if you are in the B2B sector. The only thing I would look out for is posting duplicate content. A lot of bloggers are posting their identical blog posts on LinkedIn and eventually I think this will bit them in the butt.
Using the LinkedIn publishing platform more often is actually one of my goals over the next six months, and I feel like a lot of other people are in the same boat. It seems so great! And it’s so easy! And the potential seems so huge! And….we’re still pushing it to the side. I certainly can’t speak for everyone, but as I look through some of my connections it seems that many people aren’t making a consistent effort, and I do believe the platform’s uncertain future has something to do with this.
We don’t really know much about LinkedIn’s algorithm, and we aren’t sure whether or not these posts will start to gain more popularity in Google search. While it’s wonderful in terms of building up your profile, you want to make sure as a writer your articles are gaining maximum exposure. Because it takes so long to write a quality article, I have to publish it somewhere where I know exactly what I’m getting both now and in the future. If I was able to duplicate content somehow this might be a different story, but for now I have to assume that duplication is a bad idea, and if I want to get involved in this platform I need to spend my time writing something unique. As for sales promotions instead of real content, I haven’t seen it be much of a problem now and my guess is that LinkedIn won’t let it become poor quality in the future.
Finally with all of that said, I absolutely see the value in this publishing platform and I do think it has the potential to grow and become more successful. It’s still fairly new and LinkedIn has some room to improve, and I think they will. Again, I’m still not an avid user of the platform, but I plan to be because I think it has a solid future.From Razvan Gavrilas of cognitiveSEO:
The LinkedIn initiative looks great. But…as soon as it was launched it generated a lot of traction (maybe too much all at once) and a lot of people started writing all kind of content. I do not think LinkedIn is prepared yet to handle all the low quality content issues. Or maybe they do not care and the system will auto-curate itself. At the moment I am sure a lot of SEOs will try to abuse the system.
On the good side of things, the LinkedIn article platform would allow you to spread more content directly to your LinkedIn network , increasing your perceived authority in a specific niche or area.
“The road to hell is paved with good intentions” as the saying goes, so let’s see where the new LinkedIn article platform will be in the next two years.From Prashant Puri of AdLift:
LinkedIn’s publisher platform has proved to be a very powerful content marketing tool in an extremely short amount of time. Posts written by authors have the opportunity of reaching 50k+ people in a matter of hours. The platform needs to be part of any marketers social media plan.
With respect to SEO, the content wouldn’t have direct impact on your SEO but indirectly– most definitely. Just like Twitter can be used as a powerful indexation tool, Linkedin’s publisher platform can we used to get your site content over to Google lighting fast.
What’s important is how LinkedIn will deal with duplicate content and content created to spam the platform. In addition, if LinkedIn doesn’t act fast enough on these policies will Google leverage the same content penalties as it’ s done to other low quality content platforms? That’s yet to be seen.
Apple is moving to expand its personnel working on wearable computers and medical-sensor-laden devices by hiring more scientists and specialists in the medical sensor field. Apple began work in earnest on a watch-like device late last decade, and it has worked with increasing efficiency and more dedicated resources on the project over the past couple of years. Last year, we published an extensive profile that indicated Apple has hired several scientists, engineers, and managers in the field of biomedical technologies, glucose sensors, and general fitness devices…
Smartening the iWatch team
Over the past couple of months, Apple has been seeking even more engineering prowess to work on products with medical sensors. Earlier this year, two notable people from the medical sensor world joined Apple to work on the team behind the iWatch’s hardware vision. Apple has hired away Nancy Dougherty from startup Sano Intelligence and Ravi Narasimhan from general medical devices firm Vital Connect. In her former job, Dougherty was in charge of hardware development. Narasimhan was the Vice President of Research and Development at his previous employer.
Unobtrusive blood reading
Dougherty’s work at Sano Intelligence is incredibly interesting in light of Apple’s work on wearable devices, and it seems likely that she will bring this expertise from Sano over to Apple. While Sano Intelligence has yet to launch their product, it has been profiled by both The New York Times and Fast Company. The latter profile shares many details about the product: it is a small, painless patch that can work on the arm and uses needle-less technologies to read and analyze a user’s blood.
The needle-less, sensor-laden transdermal patch is painless (I handled a prototype, which felt like sandpaper on the skin) and will soon be able to monitor everything you might find on a basic metabolic panel–a blood panel that measures glucose levels, kidney function, and electrolyte balance. Already, Sano’s prototype can measure glucose and potassium levels. There are enough probes on the wireless, battery-powered chip to continuously test up to a hundred different samples, and 30% to 40% of today’s blood diagnostics are compatible with the device.
With the technology for reading blood able to be integrated into a small patch, it seems plausible that Apple is working to integrate such a technology into its so-called “iWatch.” For a diabetic or any other user wanting to monitor their blood, this type of innovation would likely be considered incredible. More so if it is integrated into a mass-produced product with the Apple brand. Just like Apple popularized music players and tablets, it could take medical sensor technology and health monitoring to mainstream levels.
Earlier this week, Google entered the picture of future medical devices by announcing its development of eye contact lenses that could analyze glucose levels via a person’s tears. This technology is seemingly far from store shelves as keeping the hardware in an eye likely poses several regulatory concerns. By putting similar technology on a wrist or an arm, perhaps Apple will be able to beat Google to market with this potentially life-changing medical technology.
While the aforementioned work by Dougherty occurred at Sano Intelligence, the fact that she “solely” developed this hardware means that her move to Apple is a remarkable poaching for the iPhone maker and a significant loss for a small, stealth startup. She notes her involvement at Sano on her LinkedIn profile (which also confirms her new job at Apple):
– Hardware Lead in a very early stage company designing a novel system to continuously monitor blood chemistry via microneedles in the interstitial fluid. Brought system from conception through development and board spins to a functioning wearable pilot device.
– Solely responsible for electrical design, testing, and bring-up as well as system integration; managing contractors for layout, assembly, and mechanical systems
– Building laboratory data collection systems and other required electrical and mechanical systems to support chemical development
Dougherty’s work at Sano Intelligence was not her first trip in the medical sensor development field. Before joining that company, she worked on “research and development for an FDA regulated Class I medical device; a Bluetooth-enabled electronic “Band-Aid” that monitors heart rate, respiration, motion, and temperature” for another digital health company, according to her publicly available resume.
At Vital Connect, Narasimhan was a research and development-focused vice president. As Vital Connect is a large company, it is unclear how responsible Narasimhan actually was for the hardware development, but it is clear that he has expertise in managing teams responsible for biosensors. Their sensor can be worn on the skin (usually around the chest area) and is able to monitor several different pieces of data. As can be seen in the description from Vital Connect (above), their technology can measure steps, skin temperature, respiratory rate, and can even detect falls. These data points would be significant compliments to a wearable computer that is already analyzing blood data.
Besides his management role at Vital Connect, Narasimhan comes to Apple with over “40 patents granted and over 15 pending,” according to his LinkedIn profile. Many of these patents are in the medical sensor realm, and this demonstrates how his expertise could assist Apple in its work on wearable devices. Narasimhan has patents for measuring the respiratory rate of a user, and, interestingly, the measurement of a person’s body in space to tell if they have fallen. The latter technology in a mass-produced device would likely improve the quality of life for the elderly or others prone to falling.
Of course, it is not certain that the work of either Narasimhan or Dougherty will directly appear in an Apple wearable computer or other device. What this information does indicate, however, is that Apple is growing its team of medical sensor specialists by hiring some of the world’s most forward-thinking experts in seamless mobile medical technologies.
Apple is not the only company boosting its resources for utilities that can measure blood. According to sources, other major Silicon Valley companies are racing Apple to hire the world’s top experts in blood monitoring through skin.
Other biometric technologies
In addition to focusing on sensors that could monitor a person’s activity, motion, and blood through the skin, sources say that Apple is actively working on other biometric technologies. As we reported in 2013, Apple is actively working on embedding fingerprint scanners into Multi-Touch screens. It seems plausible that in a few years down the roadmap, Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint scanners could be integrated into the iPhone or iPad screen, not into the Home button.
Perhaps more interesting, Apple is also actively investigating iris scanning technology, according to sources. This information comes as a Samsung executive confirmed that Samsung is developing iris scanning technologies for upcoming smartphones. It is currently unknown if iris scanning to unlock a phone will arrive with the Galaxy S5 this year.
Apple is also said to be studying new ways of applying sensors such as compasses and accelerometers to improve facial recognition. These technologies could be instrumental in improving security, photography, and other existing facets of Apple’s mobile devices. It does not immediately seem intuitive to have new facial and iris recognition technologies on wearable devices, so it is unlikely that those technologies will make the cut for the future “iWatch.”
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