Did Apple steal its heart sensor technology for the Apple Watch?

Wear OS vs. Apple Watch
Prykhodov/123RF

Apple has big plans to make its Apple Watch as much of a medical device as an expensive wrist accessory, but a new lawsuit may throw a wrench in the works. According to a Michigan-based health company called Omni MedSci, Apple stole the technology that was needed to create its heart rate sensor, a key component to the Apple Watch that is being further explored for newer models of the wearable.

According to Omni’s founder Dr. Mohammed Islam, several Apple team members, including the company’s medical technology specialist, hardware designer, and vice president of product marketing, met with Omni personnel between 2014 and 2016 to discuss patent applications — that is to say, Omni’s patent applications.

Islam alleges that after showing these patents to Apple, the tech giant went silent, and reneged on any potential partnership negotiations that may have been ongoing. Ultimately, Islam claims, Apple took the startup’s patent ideas and received approval for its own infringing patent in 2017 and earlier in 2018 — the more recent one addresses how light sources might be leveraged to monitor glucose. This is of particular interest, seeing as Apple is reportedly looking to create a sensor for the Apple Watch capable of keeping tabs on blood sugar levels for those living with diabetes.

As a result of the lawsuit, Islam hopes to receive both damages and an injunction preventing further sales of the Apple Watch (which, by the way, seems like a rather unlikely outcome).

While lawsuits against Apple are nothing new, this particular case does have a few fishy elements. First off, the startup founder claims to have first met with Apple in 2014, just a few months before the Apple Watch made its debut. At point, however, the company had already solidified its heart rate sensor technology, as this particular feature was discussed at length during the wearable’s unveiling. Plus, as Apple Insider reports, Islam seems to have incorporated certain modifications into his own intellectual property (IP) after the Apple event at which the Watch was introduced.

Islam has also previously brought lawsuits against Huawei, Nokia, and Verizon for patent infringement. As for this current Apple case, the tech giant has yet to respond to the allegations.

News

Lawsuit alleges Apple falsely advertised the screen size of the iPhone X

A lawsuit alleges that Apple was dishonest in the way that it marketed the iPhone X. The lawsuit alleges that despite Apple's marketing campaign, the new iPhone is not in fact all screen because of the notch.
Computing

Acer Swift 7 vs. Apple MacBook Air

The Acer Swift 7 accomplishes its goal of being the world's thinnest notebook, and it's well-built to boot. But is that enough to take on the Apple MacBook Air in terms of being the better to actually use?
Deals

Walmart drops prices on Apple Watches and other fitness trackers

Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and wearable heart rate monitors from Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin are popular gifts. Wearables are smarter and more capable than in earlier years. We found the best wearables deals on Walmart.
Mobile

New Apple Watch begins saving lives one week after getting EKG feature

The Apple Watch Series 4 was updated almost a week ago with a new feature that allows users to take electrocardiogram tests -- and already it seems like the new feature is saving lives.
Wearables

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.
Wearables

How to use the ECG app, set up irregular rhythm notifications on the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch Series 4 is the best smartwatch iPhone owners can own, and it just got even better with the addition of the ECG app and ability to identify irregular heart rhythms. Here's how to set it all up.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

Common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.
Mobile

The LG V40 ThinQ, G7 ThinQ, and Watch W7 are discounted for the holidays

LG announced a series of deals for the holiday season where you can buy the company's two flagship phones, the V40 ThinQ and G7 ThinQ, as well as its latest smartwatch, for between $150 and $200 off, depending on the device.
Wearables

Our favorite fitness trackers make it fun to keep moving

Looking for your first fitness tracker, or an upgrade to the one you're already wearing? There are plenty of the wrist-worn gadgets available. Here are our picks for the best fitness trackers available right now.
Wearables

The best Wear OS watches

There are a ton of different Wear OS watches out there, but which one's right for you? No matter what you're looking for from a smartwatch, here are the best Wear OS watches out there.
Deals

The best Apple Watch deals for December 2018

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Outdoors

Built to take a beating and still perform, these are the best hiking watches

A proper hiking watch should track exercise metrics and act as a navigational co-pilot during any kind of hike. Ideally, it'll even have a built-in GPS system and sensors. Here are five of the best hiking watches.
Mobile

Microsoft patent filing shows wearable that mitigates involuntary movements

A patent application from Microsoft has shown the company is looking into using wearable technology to alleviate symptoms from various diseases and disorders that cause involuntary movements.