December 29, 2015 / 12:26 AM / 2 years ago

Samsung Elec says sells new chip for health-focused wearables

The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at the company's headquarters in Seoul July 6, 2012.Lee Jae-Won/Files

SEOUL (Reuters) - Tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Tuesday it has started selling a new processor aimed at health-focused wearable products, seeking to tap into a fast-growing market.

The new chip is the first that can take multiple measurements - including body fat, skin temperature and heart rate - as well as process the information collected by itself, Samsung said in a statement.

To help clients accelerate product development using the chip, the firm said it has developed "reference platform" products such as a wrist band to demonstrate the chip's capabilities.

The step comes amid a push by tech firms to develop and sell wearable products - such as smartwatches - that offer a variety of health-related features including data collection and monitoring.

Some firms are seeking to launch sophisticated products capable of detecting and monitoring more serious diseases to tap in to a market that Soreon Research says could be worth more than $41 billion in 2020.

Samsung began mass production of the new chips in December. It said the processor will power a new device to be launched in the first half of 2016, but declined to elaborate on the maker of the device.

Reporting by Se Young Lee; Editing by Richard Pullin

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