Oura, a Finnish startup known for its Oura ring, has partnered with luxury Italian fashion house Gucci
Gucci and Oura have collaborated to give a ring packed with temperature sensing, heart rate monitoring, and activity tracking sensors, all while looking fabulous.
Gucci unveils smart ring that can track heart rate and sleep quality
talian fashion house Gucci togehter with Finnish company Ōura Health has launched a smart ring with fitness watch functionality. The inner surface of the ring is equipped with several sensors that monitor various parameters of the body, in particular body temperature, pulse, respiratory rate, activity level, sleep quality and others.
Data from the smart ring is sent to a proprietary smartphone app, where it is available not only analyze the state of your body, but also study audio lessons with meditations, sleep programs, breathing work and other courses to improve health.
The wearable technology ring unlocks a unique perspective given by hidden messages from the body, empowering individuals to connect with themselves throughout the day via wellness insights.
The black and gold ring is understated and elegant. Crafted from black titanium and weighing just four grams this is no bulky fitbit or apple watch. The minimal black band is framed with 18 kt yellow gold torchon detailing and embossed with the iconic interlocking Gucci G’s.
But this ring is a lot more than just a pretty face, it comes equipped with ŌURA’s latest Generation 3 technology, which includes research-grade sensors tracking body signals and vitals. The idea behind the design is to enable individuals to take better ownership over their personal health and wellbeing by tracking their heart rate, temperature, sleep activity and respiratory rate to reveal the effects of stress or illness.
The super clever sensors located on the inside of the ring’s band measure heart rate from the arteries in the fingers, meaning the Gucci ring captures a much stronger signal than wrist-based watch alternatives. It also tracks sleep by monitoring the body’s vital signs to see when we are awake, asleep or in REM deep sleep.
As a core health platform, what you wear also affects how you feel. And we have brought performance closer together.
Equipped with Ōura’s latest Generation 3 technology, the Gucci x Ōura Ring is special because it reads a person’s heart rate from the arteries in their fingers, obtaining a much stronger signal than wristband alternatives that measure from the capillaries on the top of the wrist. Every day, the wearer’s health metrics are outlined into sleep, activity and readiness scores, which Ōura uses to provide personalized suggestions and science-backed content for optimizing health daily.
From letting you know how well you slept the previous night to nap detection, the Gucci x Oura Ring analyzes deep sleep, REM sleep, light sleep, nightly heart rate, daytime heart rate, optimized bedtime schedule, and more.
The activity score gives personalized insight into how you balance your activity and relaxation by analyzing your daily movement and how much rest you are getting. Special movement sensors allow you to track activities automatically, so your insights stay up to date
By considering your sleep, activity, and body stress signals like temperature, the readiness score lets you know how much you can take on throughout the day.
The Gucci x Oura Ring monitors heart rate around the clock, letting you know how your body responds to daily habits and choices.
Temperature is key to understanding the body’s signals. With seven sensors, the Gucci x Oura Ring gets to know your unique body temperature and can pick up on even the smallest changes.
Revealing the idiosyncrasies of both the conscious and subconscious, the Gucci x Oura Ring becomes a full expression of the self. With 24/7 heart rate monitoring, seven temperature sensors, and sleep analysis, the smart ring decodes each individual day through three daily scores measuring sleep, activity, and readiness. Each score adapts and responds according to the wearer’s personal patterns.
Importance of Technology in Healthcare
The adoption of technology in healthcare over the years has led to better diagnosis and treatment of patients. Out of all the benefited sectors from technology adoption, healthcare is probably the most important one. Consequently, it improved the quality of life over time, and it has saved many lives. But what are some of the benefits of technology in healthcare? And what are some groundbreaking medical technologies in healthcare right now?
Benefits of Information Technology in Healthcare
The benefits of information technology in healthcare or Health Information Technology, as else called, are plenty.
To begin, IT enables health practitioners to store and retrieve data relating to a patient’s health records. It also enhances the communication of patient information through a legible format that anyone can use. As a result, it reduces the chance of medication errors. Finally, it makes it easier to retrieve patient information through a database without new health checks. All the above technologies in healthcare have a thing in common; they improve health and patient safety.
The use of medical technology tools safeguards patient safety. First, there are alerts on medication, flags and reminders, consultation and diagnosis reports, and the easier availability of patient data. Particularly, alerts can help someone adhere to specific treatments and schedules of treatment. Also, an electronic recording of data can lead to uniformity of practice across all health practitioners. Finally, using an electronic health record can improve provided care for common conditions based on past evidence.
Someone cannot argue that technology in healthcare is a new thing. We use medical technology from the most severe case to the simplest medical case, like breaking a bone. From plaster to robotic surgery, technological advancement is always present and undisputable. Nevertheless, behind every medical technology, there is the patient in mind.
In recent years there have been many groundbreaking advancements in technology in healthcare:
3-D printing: 3-D printing has been around for some years in many fields. When it comes to medicine, it creates implants or even joints for surgery. It is also prevalent in prosthetics as it can create perfect matching limbs allowing extra comfort and mobility.
Artificial organs: Like 3-D printing, but for actual and operational organs, the patient’s immune system will not be rejected. Else called bio-printing is an up-and-coming area in technology in healthcare that could save millions of patients every year.
Robotic surgery: Adds control, precision, and flexibility to a surgeon’s hands to operate as non-invasively as possible to a patient. It has allowed making certain operations easier or even possible.
Health wearables: They Began as a fitness tracker to track heart rate and pace, and they highlighted healthcare potential. Health wearables can detect cardiovascular anomalies earlier and prevent severe conditions.
Virtual reality (VR): VR is being used heavily in recent years but mainly for entertainment purposes. However, virtual reality can help medical students have “real life” experiences in procedures and a visual understanding of human anatomy.
Telehealth: It is a very up-and-coming market that allows patients receive medical care through digital devices. Patients can easily have access to their doctor while they can receive a diagnosis and medical advice. You’ll need the right platforms for this; such as a website builder and CRM
The transformative power of technology could not obviously be missing from the healthcare sector. Even though it is a sector requiring highly skilled individuals with many years of studies, it is also a very demanding one in infrastructure and tools. The rise of life expectancy worldwide and the aging of populations create a very demanding area for innovation and technology in healthcare. However, it seems that innovation in the field is very robust, thus changing the landscape every year.
The Institute of Entrepreneurship Development (iED) is really intrigued by the potential medical technologies pose and their contributions to general well-being. For this reason, we have collaborated in the past with our partners to provide training material for dental hygienists in Europe and help market pioneering medical products.
Sensors are tools that detect and respond to some type of input from the physical environment.
There are a broad range of sensors used in everyday life, which are classified based on the quantities and qualities they detect.
Examples include electric current, magnetic or radio sensors, humidity sensors, fluid velocity or flow sensors, pressure sensors, thermal or temperature sensors, optical sensors, position sensors, environmental sensors, and chemical sensors.
In medicine and biomedical research, there are many types of sensors that are used to detect specific biological, chemical, or physical processes that then transmit or report this data to individual users or healthcare professionals.
– Thermometers translate the expansion of a fluid or bending of a metal strip in response to heat into a value that corresponds to body temperature.
– Wearable technologies such as smartwatches carry sensors that can track, analyze, and transmit data about heart rate and sleep patterns. Researchers are using wearables to monitor the health of individuals and even predict and potentially intervene to prevent acute health events such as stroke or heart attack.
– Pulse oximeters measure changes in the body’s absorption of special types of light to measure heart rate and the amount of oxygen in the blood. These sensors are frequently used in hospitals and clinics and can also be purchased for at-home use.
While many advanced sensors aren’t practical for routine medical care, they allow researchers to study and learn about the basic foundations of disease, potentially facilitating the development of new technologies.
Circulating nanosensors for continuous drug monitoring. NIBIB-funded scientists are developing sensors that circulate in the blood and continuously monitor drug concentrations to help maintain therapeutic levels and avoid high, toxic levels. The sensors send a fluorescent signal that changes with drug concentration and can be detected through the skin. To allow the sensor to remain in the blood without being eliminated from the body, the sensors are “hidden” in red blood cell (RBC) “ghosts,” which are the outer shell of the RBC. In experiments in mice, sensors designed to detect lithium carried inside the RBC ghosts remained in the blood stream for weeks sending a fluorescent signal that accurately measured the lithium levels in the blood. The circulating nanosensors could improve drug effectiveness by allowing physicians to monitor and adjust drug concentrations to maintain optimal therapeutic levels.
Smart textiles for prevention of deep vein thrombosis. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is the formation of blood clots in the legs. Caused by limited mobility in hospital patients, the elderly, and pregnant women, DVT can result in pulmonary embolism (PE), a life-threatening condition that occurs when clots from the legs travel to the lungs and become lodged in the pulmonary arteries. NIBIB-funded researchers are using smart textiles to prevent DVT and reduce the occurrence of PE. The smart textiles carry sensors that do not require batteries and are woven directly into socks and other garments. The smart textiles can remotely detect movement or lack of movement that would promote DVT and automatically provide mechanical stimulation to block the formation of blood clots. The approach aims to dramatically reduce the more than 200,000 cases of PE that occur in the U.S. each year.
Inexpensive genetic sensor for zinc deficiency. In developing countries, lack of the micronutrient zinc in mothers’ diets is associated with fetal growth retardation, impairment of learning and memory function, and increased morbidity and mortality in children. To enable widespread testing for zinc deficiency, NIBIB-funded scientists are using synthetic biology to create an inexpensive zinc sensor for use in low-resource settings. The approach involves engineering bacteria that give a color read-out in response to the amount of zinc in a blood sample. Different colored read-outs are based on the zinc concentration in the sample, indicating whether zinc levels are acceptable or too low (which would indicate the need for zinc supplements). The portable, minimal-equipment bacterial biosensor for blood micronutrients would enable large-scale studies on nutritional interventions to better treat millions of undernourished people in low-resource settings.
There are certain stories I tend to tell when we have visitors in Morgan Hill or when I first meet people in the sensor business. I like to recount some of the history of silicon based sensors in Silicon Valley and give some examples of applications we’ve worked on in the past. Often this triggers some common ground upon which we might have interests, people or other experiences in common to share. I shall try to share some of this by way of this news letter.
The Fairchild Semiconductor Days
For all practical purposes, I was directly involved with the first silicon sensor work in Silicon Valley. The person most responsible for bringing sensor technology to the area was Art Zias. Art was a technical writer at Bell Labs while an engineering student in the late fifties. The physics of piezoresistance in silicon and germanium was derived from the work of Phann, Thurston and Smith at Bell and was chronicled by Art. Art also worked as a professional saxophone player at the major New York studios during the fifties. In his own words “I was skilled enough to play with the top jazz artists, but not talented enough to be ranked with them.” Pfann’s work inspired Art to make a lifelong career of silicon sensors. Bill Pfann made a comment at the time that not only inspired Art but perhaps defined the industry “Now that we’ve studied the transduction effects in semiconductors for the purpose of getting rid of them, maybe they’re useful.”
In 1960, Art joined GE where he won a competition against Honeywell for an Airforce (WADC) contract on solid state motion transduction. That motivated Tony Kurtz to leave Honeywell and found Kulite. In 1964, Art joined Honeywell to start the Solid State Electronics Center (SSEC). During the sixties, Art lead SSEC’s development of piezoresistive accelerometers and pressure sensors for the Aerospace, Industrial and Microswitch divisions. Hans Keller was then a physicist at SSEC. He later founded Keller Druckmestechnik in Switzerland. In 1969, Art joined ex-Honeyweller, Don Lynam, as director of Engineering at Fairchild Camera & Instrument’s Transducer operation. Gene Burk soon left Honeywell to join Art. Art credits Gene with the original work on bulk silicon micromachining. Prior to Gene’s work sensors did not incorporate three dimensional structures, only planar structures. Don, Art and Gene Burk left Fairchild and founded IC Transducers (now Foxboro ICT) with Fairchild’s blessings in 1971.
In 1972, Art and Bill Hare founded National Semiconductor’s transducer operation without Fairchild’s blessings. In addition to ICT, an effort continued at Fairchild aimed at automotive applications. At Fairchild the hope was to develop a manifold absolute pressure sensor, similar in technology to the ignition module, based on silicon piezoresistance technology. With Art’s departure the effort was stopped. National and Fairchild became involved in a legal dispute over the nature of Art’s departure. What remained of the technology at Fairchild was sold to Bob Hood, became Cognition and was eventually sold to Emerson Electric, never to be heard of again.
I met Art in 1973 at a golf outing arranged by a mutual friend and fellow engineer at Fairchild Semiconductor, Rick Schaffzin. Rick became president of IC Sensors in the eighties. Art has a horrible golf swing. It’s best that one just learning the game look away when Art swings to avoid the Methuselah curse. Rumor has it that seeing Art’s swing may turn one into a pillar of salt.
At Fairchild we developed the first solid state ignition modules with Delco Electronics, shipping 50,000 modules a week during peak production. I was a process and product engineer for automotive and other hybrid products. The engineering manager was Rodney Smith, now president of Altera.
The National Semiconductor Days
In the early seventies the only commercial silicon based sensor work in the Valley was Art’s work (just starting at National Semiconductor), Don Lynam at IC Transducers (also just starting) and the effort at Fairchild (coming to a close through Cognition.) Elsewhere in the world there were other commercial efforts with the work continuing at Honeywell Microswitch, Hans Keller at Keller in Switzerland, Kulite in New Jersey and at Phillips in Europe. The largest research efforts were at the Universities in the United States. There were significant efforts at Case Western, under Dr. When Ko, Stanford under Dr. Kendall Wise, and by John Gragg at Carnegie Mellon. National Semiconductor wanted to get into the business because of the potential automotive applications. Art was asked by National’s management to explain “transduction.” Art told them he would put it into the simplest terms, and one they could relate to best. He described transduction as the ability to take silicon and convert it to money. That appealed to National, Art was hired and the ten year transducer effort at National was to begin. Art has more accurately described the circumstances, as the events surrounding this statement also provide an insight into the character of National Semiconductor at the time.
In the mid seventies I assumed responsibilities for marketing of all National’s hybrid products, including Transducers. At the time there was a major effort by the car companies to develop an automotive MAP sensor. At National we worked with Delco Electronics and Ford to codevelop two types of MAP sensors. The Delco version had a sensor die similar to the Honeywell sensor die of the time and was packaged in a housing similar to the Fairchild ignition module. This product and versions of it are still manufactured by Delco and other aftermarket suppliers. Similar versions of this sensor were developed for all other major car companies in the world and its specification is the defacto industry standard. The Ford version was a silicon variable capacitance pressure sensor. It is still manufactured today by both Ford and Motorola. However, it is not used by any other car manufacturer. It is more costly than the piezoresitive version. There are other thick film hybrid MAP sensors also serving this market.
In 1977 I was participating in a Transducer Range Commanders conference in Seattle along with Joe Mallon, vice president of engineering at Kulite. At this time Joe had a ton of patents for silicon piezoresistive pressure sensor processing. (In 1983 Joe, Kurt Peterson and Janusz Bryzek were to become cofounders of Novasensors; more on them later.) I got to know Joe from this meeting and found him to be the most knowledgeable person at that time concerning temperature effects due to semiconductor processing for pressure sensors in silicon. Even today most companies reference his original work for determining appropriate concentration levels for dopants in silicon to set the temperature coefficient of resistance and sensitivity.
In 1978 I was attending Semicon West in San Francisco and was at “Herr Doktor” Janusz Bryzek’s presentation on discrete temperature compensation of silicon pressure sensors. Janusz presented a circuit that had at least twenty amplifiers, and several hundred resistors and many potentiometers. The most elaborate scheme for temperature compensation I had ever seen, truly a technical wonder to behold. He was asked by a member of the audience “Doktor Bryzek what is the error in such a compensation with so many components?” Without hesitation Janusz replied “there is no error, it…. is perfect!” At the time I felt he could quite possibly be right but wondered how he would test it. (An engineers mentality, not a marketing mentality.) From this conference I got to know Janusz.
During this same time period American Hospital Supply approached National for a $5.00 disposable blood pressure sensor. The first work started then for what is today, most probably, the second largest pressure sensor application in the world behind the automotive MAP sensor.
The 1977 National Semiconductors Transducer Handbook became the reference book in the transducer business. Most sections of this book are still reprinted with each reprint of the Sensym handbook. This handbook is still the reference book of choice for pressure sensors. The 1977 handbook was unique because each section had an unusual introductory title and preface including, “The pig who squealed Dixie,” a section concerning acoustic measurements and “Samson and Delightful,” a section on signal conditioning. This book was the result of a years work by Art, Ray Pitts a Ph.D. in physics who was consulting and rewriting the bible at this time, and myself. Ray was the major contributor. He had an unhappy ending to his story at National and a tragic ending to his life shortly thereafter.
In 1980 I became Director of Operations for Transducer Products at National and Art Zias reported to me. It was a truly challenging and joyful time period for us all as Art kept everyone on their toes and entertained. In addition to engineering, Art performed as master of ceremony at the National Semiconductor annual sales meeting and would use me as a sounding board for many of his anecdotes. One of his more memorable ones was about Charley Sporck, founder and CEO of National Semiconductor. In reaction to financial analysts criticism of him at the time, Charley made the statement “he would chomp on groins and spit testicles.” Art, in reference to this statement told an audience of several hundred National employees and sales Reps “that it just goes to show you that angry rich men can develop strange gourmet fetish’s.” The charter for the transducer business was to determine what was needed to grow the business to $100 million in a short time period. At the time I didn’t know it, but the only other alternative was to exit the business.
National Semiconductor notable persons involved with the Transducer operations:
Most notable was Mike Scott, director of operations for hybrid and transducer products from 1974 to roughly 1979. I reported to Mike during this time period and he was the most knowledgeable marketing, and possibly the brightest person I have ever met. Mike, who previously worked for Mike Markula at Fairchild, left National to become the first president of Apple Computer and left Apple in 1983 when he and Steve Jobs did not see things the same. Markula, Chairman of the Board for Apple, opted for Steve instead of Mike. Mike left Apple at this time with his eight million shares of Apple stock and has enjoyed himself ever since. He did have one fling in the satellite launching business with the failed launch of their first satellite, and company, Starstruck. The concept for their satellite had considerable technical appeal. But in the end they had an expensive boat ride that saw their satellite and investment forever disappear into the depths of the Pacific Ocean. Floyd Kvamme was Vice President of marketing and sales for National. Pierre Lamond headed R&D. Both Floyd and Pierre are very well known today in the venture capital community. At National our semiconductor fab processing was done in the linear group, headed by Bob Swanson. Bob left National with a team of National linear people and started Linear Technology, a very profitable semiconductor company today. Their leaving National caused Charley Sporck to file legal action against the group as it “appeared” unusual to see them talking daily in the cafeteria for some time prior to leaving. Especially since they had never socialized before this time. One of the cofounders of Linear, Brent Welling for whom I worked for a brief time period at National, would later join us at Sensym as Vice President of marketing and sales.
At National I was a member of their eleemosynary committee and had the opportunity to visit a sensor group at Stanford University. Kendall Wise was head of the effort and was just leaving to form a sensor research effort at the University of Michigan. I met Jim Knutti who was involved with an implanted integrated injection logic, combination pressure and temperature sensor used to monitor bodily functions of sheep, funded by the National Institute of Health. Jim worked with Dr. Henry Allen and the two of them later (1984?) started a company to manufacture force sensors using silicon for what Art had earlier published as “the fingertips of the robot.” This company, Transensory Devices Inc , was acquired by IC Sensors and Jim and Henry stayed with IC Sensors. Jim left a short time after the acquisition and started a sensor operation in Switzerland with Ascom. Ascom was eventually sold, there was a fire in their fab, and finally they exited this business. Henry joined Jim and the work done with Ascom allowed the two of them to start Silicon Microstructures in 1992. SMI was acquired by Exar in 1995 and Jim and Henry continue to be active at SMI/Exar. They have done some very good work with silicon stress concentration, modeling thereof, and silicon structures for low pressure devices and accelerometers.
The Sensym Days
In 1982 after I made a presentation to National management stating it was not realistic to expect the Transducer business to become at $100 million business in the foreseeable future I was instructed to sell the business. At the time John Nesheim was treasurer for National and provided guidance for me during this process. John later formed Ministry Management with Art Linkletter, of television fame, and has written several books concerning venture capital financing. At that time my marketing manager was Manny Naik, now the president of Integrated Sensor Solutions. Manny and I talked with Joe Mallon and the three of us considered how we might get into the business ourselves. We decided to invite Janusz Bryzek into the discussions as well. After many meetings suffice it to say that we could not agree on a structure for the company the (“Office of the President” later adopted at Novasensors, did not appeal to me) and I decided to propose a leveraged buyout of National’s operation and Janusz would join us as Vice President of Engineering.
Manny stayed at National, later to leave and found Integrated Sensor Solutions. ISS is now active in pressure sensors for automotive applications and has strategic relationships with companies in Japan, Germany and Breed Automotive in the United States. Manny is, without doubt, the best marketing person in the pressure sensor business. I was given one month by National to arrange financing for the purchase of the Transducer Group.
Through John Nesheim’s referral I was able to arrange quick financing from Robertson, Coleman and Stephen’s, now Robertson, Stephens & Company in San Francisco through Bob Cummings. Bob also got Crosspoint Investments to contribute and we developed a business plan with the help of John Mumford, general partner for Crosspoint. I was very lucky to have John Nesheim’s referral and introduction to the legitimate financial community. We completed the purchase of the business in October 1982, from this Sensym was born. I had a very good relationship for the prior five years with our European marketing manager in Germany, Helmut Gutgesell. He offered to start a company in Germany with mutual exclusivity for the Sensym products. Thus was born Sensortechnics GmbH. Sensortechnics is today one of the more successful value added suppliers of pressure sensors in Europe.
I located Sensym at 1253 Reamwood Avenue, Sunnyvale, a facility that had been recently vacated by Interdesign. Interdesign had been sold to Ferranti and they moved to Scotts Valley. This address may look familiar as it is where I currently reside with Data Instruments ASG. We put in a four inch semiconductor fabrication facility and had the capability to build linear IC’s as well as silicon micromachined structures. Some of our notable work at Sensym included disposable blood pressure sensors for both invasive and non invasive application, including catheter tipped disposable pressure sensors for multilumen catheters down to a size of four french (less than 0.023″ wide.) We developed a hybrid module for Michelin including a pressure and temperature sensor with a full custom IC. (All of which was manufactured in house.) The initial use was for tire pressure sensing on the BMW model 850. We developed a full custom artillery shell distance sensor for safe and arm electronics. This included our first silicon accelerometer. The module performed a double integration of acceleration to determine distance. And we developed the first, low cost digital tire pressure gauge. It was, by far, the most sophisticated pressure sensor of its time for the price. The tire pressure business was a business, within a business and had a story of its own. In the eighties Sensym was where a significant portion of the industry research (more correctly, development) was being done. Novasensors did research, Sensym did development.
Janusz Bryzek stayed with us for about three months and left to join Don Lynam who had just left Foxboro ICT to start IC Sensors. In his stead we hired John Gragg from Motorola to manage our engineering efforts. John had worked at Carnegie Mellon on shear strain in silicon for the purpose of manufacturing pressure sensors. This technology had its roots at the Bell Labs in the work of Pfann and Thurston. Three basic technologies are used to manufacture silicon based pressure sensors; variable capacitance, uniaxial longitudinal and transverse strain piezoresistance and shear strain piezoresistance. There are tradeoffs for each rendering one more suitable than the other for particular applications. John and Carl Derrington had been instrumental in taking this technology from the university and commercializing it at Motorola. Motorola is the only company to employ both piezoresistance and variable capacitance pressure sensing technologies commercially. Motorola is currently the only United States non captive supplier of OEM automotive pressure sensors. John stayed with Sensym less than a year. His wife didn’t want to live with his commute from Phoenix to San Jose and would not move from their home in Phoenix. John returned to Motorola to pursue interests in another Motorola technology.
Automotive applications have been the catalyst for much of the silicon sensor development. It first started with the manifold absolute pressure sensor and more recently has extended to air bag crash sensors and fuel vapor sensing and has been considered for oil pressure, comfort seat bladders in memory seats, air conditioning pressure switches, tire pressure and intelligent shock absorbers. (Not to mention all the off-road vehicle and truck applications.) Research efforts have been funded in Germany by Siemens and Fraunhauffer Institute. Siemens acquired the Bendix sensor research group when Bendix’s automotive business was acquired by Siemens. This group had received over fifty million dollars in funding when part of Bendix. The research efforts in Germany have been largely funded by the government (over several hundred million dollars) and the auto industry.
In spite of all this funding the only company that sold products was one small operation near Munich owned and operated by Texas Instrument manufacturing only piezoresistive sensors for disposable blood pressure. This business ended several years ago.
In 1989, seven years after having taken money from the venture capital folks, as is common in the venture business it was time for Sensym to provide a return on their investment. At Sensym we raised money one other time, in 1984, when a note due National secured by my house was due and I did not have the funds to pay it. To make a long story short, National voided the note and took an equity position in Sensym thanks to Charley Sporck and Gary Arnold, Nationals Vice President of Finance at the time and current member of National Semiconductor’s Board of Directors. In 1989 I retained Bob Harris of Kahn & Harris, now Harris-Roja, for the purpose of selling Sensym. We received much interest from a large number of companies interested in acquiring Sensym. After close to twenty visits we had a short list of less than five companies based upon their management compatibility and the price they would be willing to pay. In the end we opted to accept an offer from Hawker Siddeley. Our investors received between seven and ten times their original investment as a return on their investment. The return on investment was acceptable.
Hawker Siddeley had a large sensor group in the United States managed by Dale Bennett in Rhode Island called Fasco Sensors and Controls. This group included Fasco in North Carolina, Elmwood Sensors in Rhode Island, Aerospace and Aviation Inc in Long Island, Mason in Southern California, Laserdata in Florida, Clairostat in New England, and Senisys a fiber optic module company in Texas. I would become very familiar with all these companies through group meetings and when I was asked to provide technical assessment for each of them. We hired Art Zias to consult for us for a year and to provide a technical inventory of each of the Fasco businesses. In 1981 Hawker Siddeley attempted to fend off a hostile takeover by BTR, another British conglomerate. During that time period we came close to being able to repurchase Sensym from Hawker Siddeley but the deal didn’t get done before BTR acquired control of Hawker and therefore of Sensym. BTR has a management philosophy totally different from what had been the norm for Hawker Siddeley. BTR has been very successful with their approach; acquire a company, raise prices ten percent and cut labor costs by ten percent. Vale, fifteen percent to the bottom line. Each subsequent year a BTR plan begins with raising prices by inflation plus one percent and budgeting labor costs to increase by inflation less one percent. Very simple. Such is the norm for a BTR company. Suffice it to say that such an operation takes only an accountant to run and I submitted my resignation at the end of my contract, March 1992. Prior to leaving Sensym, I offered to BTR that I would purchase Sensym for a reasonable price rather than allow the fate of the gradual demise of the business operating under such a system. They decided to decline my offer. Sensym continues today in the BTR environment.
BTR and Siebe merged in 1997 and with this merger Sensym and Foxboro/ICT were consolidated under Chris Cartsonas. The ICT facility was sold and all operations consolidated with Sensym. Sensym’s manufacturing is done primarily in Juarez, Mexico, with silicon processing still in Milpitas.
The Sensym name is being replace by Invensys Sensor Systems. This is a group name for all companies that were formerly the Sensor Group of BTR.
But what became of Art Zias you ask. During Christmas 1996 and New Year 1997, Art and his lovely wife, Ellie, toured Africa. There were reports their trip was partially funded by the Oakland school district for research into the true origins of Ebonics. Yet other reports have Art starting another sensor company or as lead saxophone for the Swahili military marching band. Based upon Art’s background any one of the stories could, in fact, be true. Upon leaving National Semiconductor in 1982 Art went to be cofounder of Tricomp Sensors, ultimately a publicly funded company that went belly up thanks to the fine efforts of Ralph Voerst their principal investor and fund raiser par excellence. Art then founded Captorr along with professor Barry Block.
Barry is “the guru of variable capacitance, silicon to pyrex to silicon microstructures” having made a name for himself through the sale of the technology to Signetics in the seventies for automotive accelerometers. Each person associated with Barry has a different word for the “name” he has made for himself. I have found him to be incredibly interesting. However, it is a little bit disconcerting when all your meetings with him include his attorney and you have been told that he has made a significant amount of his money by way of law suits.
Captorr contracted with Dresser Industries to develop and “turn-key” a very low pressure (0.1 inch of water column full scale) variable capacitance differential pressure transducer. The technology developed for Dresser is now used in Dresser’s low pressure devices and in some products manufactured though a Dresser Nagano joint venture in Japan. Other silicon pressure sensors manufactured in Japan by Fujikura, Nagano and others had there origins via technology transfers between Honeywell, Dresser, Foxboro ICT and their Japanese partners. Captorr technology rights were sold to Dresser and Art and Barry left for other pursuits.
Art joined Teknekron Sensor Development Corp in Menlo Park, a company formed by a wealthy man, Harvey Wagner, residing on a ranch near Lake Tahoe. Apparently Harvey made a lot of money when he sold a credit report software company to TRW. Teknekron was formed for the purpose of developing companies in an incubator environment for the purpose of liquidity and provide a large return on investment to the principal investor, Harvey. The working principals where a handful of Phd’s from industry and academia with interests in sensors of all types. The facility had state of the art sensor semiconductor and micromachining capability. In the end TSD, had its funding terminated when the forecast for the return on investment was determined to be too low. Four of the individuals, Martin Przybylski as President, Art as VP engineering, Shawn Kahil in engineering and Norm Nystrom for facilities left to form a silicon gas flowmetering company called Fluid IC. This company had funding for the purpose of developing a replacement for the home natural gas meter and other monitoring system metering in the gas distribution business. Fluid IC was absorbed by Itron and ceased operation in 1995.
Art now consults through Ziasense, a “dba” of CapTorr. Art is an active consultant to several companies in the sensor industry. He provides a short tutorial on silicon sensor technology for newcomers to the technology or full courses for those skilled in the technology and business. Art also is an active director of MCA Technologies, a promising new company founded by Ali Rastegar, that provides ASIC signal conditioning circuits for sensors. To all that know Art he is truly a fine person and has been instrumental in the formation of the silicon micromachining industry. However, he’s still has a horrible golf swing.
In 1992 I retired for most of the year. Retirement is not what one might make it out to be, especially for one who has worked since he was twelve years old and enjoyed doing it. A friend of mine that retired in his forties after making enough money to do so from stock options would say “I don’t miss the rat race but I do miss some of the rats!” I enjoy both, as long as you know what race you’re in.
In early 1993 I informed Sensym I would be participating in the Sensor Show in San Jose and since I had a two year “not-to-compete” agreement they should determine what they might want to do. Sensym filed for a temporary restraining order to prevent me from participating in the show. The courts ruled against their request and I was allowed to attend with certain provisions. Sensym spent a considerable amount of legal time and dollars to attempt to keep me out of the sensor business. We had differing opinions regarding the not to compete provision that was finally settled by the courts. In the end, I learned a lot about the law and the legal system and Sensym spent a lot of money to prevent me from competing in the United States until June 1, 1994. I believe had Sensym spent all the money they spent on legal bills on product improvements they would be much better off today than they are.
Since I was having trouble getting started in the United States I exhibited at the Sensor Show in Nuremburg, Germany in May, 1993. I had a booth with no products, only some flowers and myself. Hans Keller stopped by and asked if I was now in the flower business. It was very fortunate I went to this show as I met Alexander Breitenbach. Alexander had just, within weeks of the show, left Sensortechnics Gmbh. Alexander had been the best salesman at Sensortechnics and the person responsible for a significant portion of their business. By the beginning of 1994 Alexander and I founded NeXt Sensors Gmbh and we were in the sensor business in Europe. At least, on paper we were in the business.
I incorporated NeXt Sensors in the United States and started production of some pressure sensors similar to Sensym’s with improved performance in June, 1994. Two of the best people I have ever had the pleasure to work with joined me during the first month, Dale Dauenhauer, my brother and Marissa Magcase. Marissa had been our Quality Assurance manager at Sensym. Fred Adamic, who was Vice President of Engineering and Manufacturing for Sensym until 1993 join us in our facility, not as an employee rather he started his own company, Spectrum MicroDevices. Fred is still here, and Spectrum MicroDevices is still active. Fred is pursuing dielectrically isolated structures in silicon as well as some novel silicon gage structures. During the early days we received invaluable assistance from a couple companies and some needed financial support from some other people. Tim Shotter, founder of Gandolf who had designed the tire pressure gage for Sensym, provided product design support. Derek Bowers, founder of DB Design who had worked at Sensym ten years earlier provided package design and test fixture design support. I received financial support from Robertson & Stephens and from John Easton, president of Sensotec. The support from all was greatly appreciated.
By mid 1995 I recognized we would need more financial support than I could afford and I retained the services, again, of Harris-Roja to see what could be done. Since much of the investment was needed to establish a United States sales and marketing effort we decided to look for companies interested in a merger and use their existing infrastructure. In a short time period we had the interest of two companies, Data Instruments and Telcom Semiconductor. My personal interest was to work a deal with Telcom because I have known their Vice President of finance, Mike O’Malley, for close to twenty years and I was very favorably impressed by their CEO, Phil Drayer, who I had seen give a presentation at the Monterey AEA’s Emerging Companies Financial Conference.
We merged NeXt Sensors with Data Instruments and created Data Instruments Advanced Silicon Group in December 1994. History has yet to write itself as to what will ultimately happen with DI-ASG.
In 1995 Data Instruments also acquired NeXt Sensors Gmbh and consolidated all Data Instruments European Marketing and Sales into the merged company Data Instruments -Next Sensors GmbH in northern Germany, close to Hannover.
In January, 1996 Sensymtronic, in Paris, France was acquired by Data Instruments and merged into Data Instruments France. The company president for each company continues with the respective operations.
In November, 1998 Data Instruments was sold to Honeywell. The ASG group (NeXt Sensors) was closed and moved to Freeport, Il. NeXt Sensors people assisted in the six month process of transition from Sunnyvale to Freeport. All key people remain in the Bay Area. All key people at Data Instruments in Acton, MA are no longer with the company.
Medical sensors have helped improve healthcare for years. New sensor solutions are helping patients manage their own care will help the industry and providers advance precision medicine.
Scott Larson, Pete Smith and Justin Gaynor, TE Connectivity
From their humble origins measuring patients’ blood pressure and temperature, sensors have increased in sophistication, enabling their use across a wide array of applications.
Sensors measure pressure, air bubbles, airflow, respiration, glucose levels, force, heart rate, humidity and position — among other variables — and can be combined in multi-sensor modules. They’re being miniaturized, are increasingly digital, and are available in low- or even no-power options, with the ability to self-generate power.
They’re also available in a variety of forms that adapt to specific applications, such as respiratory equipment, interventional tools, wearables and implanted devices. All of these innovations, with the increased flexibility and capabilities they provide, have enabled their use in a growing number of consumer and commercial-grade applications. It’s no wonder that the medical sensors market is slated to reach $1.7 billion by 2025, according to a recent report by Markets and Markets.
On the consumer side, sensors are transforming home health care. Wearables and sensor-tagged medications enable providers to remotely monitor patient health conditions and adherence, receive automated alerts and provide targeted support via telemedicine. Patients are more empowered and motivated to increase their fitness, make better health choices and manage chronic conditions using real-time information that reinforces their adherence to drug regimens and other healthcare protocols.
As an example, someone with diabetes can now wear their insulin pump on their belt like a cell phone, receiving continuous micro-injections to stabilize their medical condition. With sensor-driven home health care, providers can drive better outcomes, reduce costs and avoid expensive hospital readmissions due to lack of patient adherence.
On the commercial side, sensors are used in imaging, diagnostics, interventional radiology and surgeries. Image sensors help provide ultra-high-resolution X-rays, CT scans and more for diagnostics. Diagnostic temperature and pressure sensors can provide real-time updates on vital conditions, helping to focus care delivery and avoid hospital-associated infections. When combined with other data sources — equipment status, population demographics, disease prevalence and others to power big data analytics — sensor data can help inform treatment plans for patients with similar disease conditions or the population at large.
On the interventional front, sensors are transforming medical devices into smart devices. Companies are developing long-term technology roadmaps to increase sensor capabilities and build a broader portfolio of products. Sensor expertise gained in other industries and applications — including engineering know-how, best practices and new materials — are accelerating innovation in healthcare industries and putting powerful new tools in the hands of surgeons to make surgery more precise and accurate. To borrow an example from the automotive market, it’s like moving from conventional vehicles to fully autonomous cars guided by highly intelligent systems that can ingest and process torrents of data and make adjustments in micro-seconds.
That future is already within reach. With the ability to put sensors into catheters less than a millimeter in diameter, doctors can reach new areas of the anatomy and collect real-time data during a procedure. Consider these recent innovations:
Sensors are helping drive results in a new era of outcome-based medicine, thanks to their powerful microprocessors and ever smaller form factors. With complex medical conditions and surgeries, earlier interventions typically drive the most successful results.
Manufacturers need to work closely with healthcare providers to understand market needs and the regulatory landscape so that they can address critical health and safety requirements before products can be taken to market. However, in an era when healthcare talent, time, and financial resources are increasingly stretched, sensors have a powerful role to play in helping patients manage their own health and empowering providers to deliver better, more scalable care.
Scott Larson is chief technology officer for Medical at TE Connectivity. With 30 years in medtech, he previously worked for Olympus and Boston Scientific. Pete Smith is senior manager of sensor product knowledge and training for TE Connectivity Sensor Solutions. He has worked with sensors since the 1970s and holds four patents. Justin Gaynor is business development manager for Intrasense in TE Connectivity’s Sensors Solutions Group. He has been in new product development and i semiconductors, previously worked at Texas Instruments and Novellus Systems and holds 17 patents.
Gucci (/ˈɡuːtʃi/, GOO-chee; Italian pronunciation: [ˈɡuttʃi]) is an Italian high-end luxury fashion house based in Florence, Italy. Its product lines include handbags, ready-to-wear, footwear, and accessories, makeup, fragrances, and home decoration.
Gucci was founded in 1921 by Guccio Gucci in Florence, Tuscany. Under the direction of Aldo Gucci (son of Guccio), Gucci became a worldwide-known brand, an icon of the Italian Dolce Vita. Following family feuds during the 1980s, the Gucci family was entirely ousted from the capital of the company by 1993. After this crisis, the brand was revived with a provocative ‘Porno Chic’ props. In 1999, Gucci was acquired by the French conglomerate Pinault Printemps Redoute, which later became Kering. During the 2010s, Gucci became an iconic ‘geek-chic’ brand.
In 2019, Gucci operated 487 stores for 17,157 employees, and generated €9.628 billion in sales (€8.2 billion in 2018). Marco Bizzarri is CEO of Gucci since December 2014, and Alessandro Michele creative director since January 2015. Gucci is a subsidiary of the French luxury group Kering.
Ōura Health Ltd. is a Finnish health technology company, best known for the Oura Ring (stylized Ōura), a smart ring used to track sleep and physical activity. The company was founded in 2013 by Petteri Lahtela, Kari Kivelä, and Markku Koskela. Harpreet Singh Rai was the CEO from 2018 until 2021, when he was replaced on an interim basis by Michael Chapp.
In 2022, Tom Hale was appointed CEO.
The company is headquartered in Oulu, Finland, with other locations in Helsinki, Finland, and San Francisco, United States.
The company raised its initial $2.3 million seed funding in 2015 led by Lifeline Ventures, introduced the first generation ring via Kickstarter in 2016 and launched the ring at the Slush tech conference in 2017.
In 2020, Oura Health Ltd. received the ‘Best Consumer Wellness Company’ award from the UCSF Digital Health Awards and TIME Magazine’s “The 100 Best Inventions of 2020” mentioning especially its Covid-related partnership with NBA. Oura announced Series C funding of US$100 million from The Chernin Group, Elysian Park, Temasek, JAZZ Venture Partners and Eisai in May 2021; funding in earlier rounds came from Forerunner Ventures, Square Ventures, MSD Capital, Marc Benioff, Lifeline Ventures, Metaplanet Holdings, Next Ventures and private investors.
First of all, advantages of Gucci is in there established, very strong company identity. They have the ability to control their distribution channels.Its aggressive strategy achieved through communication is additionally another of Gucci’s benefits. In some time, Gucci changed its strategy of carrying one brand to branching out to a some brand groups. This strategy is also improved by other companies as Louis Vuitton and Prada. Some luxury companies use the strategy of concentrating only on one brand and add different business segments such as :Armani, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Versace.
This strategy is used due to allow the positioning of the brand in the industry to make depending on the number of brands and huge number of business segments the company wants to compete in.We can’t but mention, that Gucci has very strong relationships with suppliers and some retails. Finally, they have directly operating stores in some counties in Europe.…show more content…
Furthermore, Gucci has very weak financial base. The base is weak because with a long period of time debt increase from $17 million in 1998 to $143 million in 1999 and to $1,3billion in 2003. Unfortunately, some brands in the Gucci’s group are not profitable.
We could say that opportunities for Gucci in the luxury market is increasing economies from Asia for example India and China. Individuals who come from this countries who just amassed a great wealth because of amazing performance of the economy would want to taste a luxury brand as Gucci. Moreover, they create competitive advantage in different business segments. Finally, there need is to expand and produce more luxurious products arise.
There is a problem that Gucci needs new marketing strategy because there is lack of innovation. The luxury goods carry the highest level of items produced for extremely rich people. This market saves on cost to get the best item because of quality style and modern design. Also, price is not the most important in such an industry. Competition is also productively minimized by the intense competition of established luxury products.Finally , luxury items do not have special substitutes as other items but the threat could come from
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