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Apple hires 'expert on sleep research' for iWatch -- report

The iPhone maker hasn't confirmed the news, of course, but the hire sparks speculation about Apple's plans for the long-rumored wearable.

Sarah Tew and Christopher MacManus/CNET

Apple has reportedly hired a self-proclaimed "expert on sleep research."

Roy J.E.M Raymann, formerly of Philips Research, has joined Apple to help the company build out the feature set in its long-rumored iWatch, 9to5Mac reported on Tuesday, citing people who claim to have knowledge of the hiring. Although 9to5Mac's sources didn't know exactly what Raymann would do at Apple, his resume suggests he'll help the iWatch team with body tracking.

Raymann appears to have quite a resume. According to his LinkedIn page, he holds a Ph.D. in the "interaction between sleep and thermoregulation" and has spent much of his career conducting research on sleep, activity, and physiological responses. He has also worked on sensors that can track those types of activity.

Raymann joined Philips Research in 2008, leading the company's sleep research. He also founded the company's sleep research facility.

Rumors have been swirling for months that Apple is working on a wearable device. The so-called iWatch, which would reportedly feature integration with iOS devices, could come with sensors to monitory activity, according to reports.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment on the report. We will update this story when we have more information.