Got a tip for us? Share it...

New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Apple Hires Nike Design Director With Experience in Wearables

benshafferApple has hired former Nike design director Ben Shaffer, claims 9to5Mac, citing a source at Nike. Shaffer worked as the Studio Director of the "Innovation Kitchen", Nike’s research and development lab, which produced popular Nike products like the Nike Fuelband and the Flyknit shoe.

While it is unknown what position Shaffer will take on at Apple, it seems likely that he will be involved in the development of the iWatch, given his expertise in wearables. Apple has been aggressively hiring for its iWatch team in recent months, acquiring a number of experts in the health sensor field. The company also recently hired fitness expert and former Nike consultant Jay Blahnik.

At the D11 conference in May, Apple CEO Tim Cook called the idea of smart watches and other wearables "incredibly interesting" saying the market was "ripe for exploration." Since then, Apple has filed for "iWatch" trademarks in a number of countries across the world, including Jamaica, Russia, Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, Turkey, Colombia, Chile, and India.

The most recent rumors have suggested Apple's iWatch will not make an appearance until late 2014 due to "hard engineering problems" that have yet to be solved.

Update: According to Fast Company's Austin Carr, though Shaffer did oversee Nike's Innovation Kitchen, he was not a part of the Nike Fuelband team, making it unclear what his role at Apple will be.

Related roundup: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

13 months ago
I'm holding out for the iCombover
Rating: 7 Votes
13 months ago

Why bother with all this expense - just copy the Samsung design.


Because they want it to not be a piece of crap :)
Rating: 5 Votes
13 months ago
Apparently Samsung is about to announce that they hired some dude with a beard who worked at NewBalance, or was that Sketchers?. Ah it doesn't matter just get SOMEONE from a shoe company with a beard already! C'mon Samsung do your best copycat hire impression!
Rating: 3 Votes
13 months ago
the way he looks, appears he's fit to be an Apple Retail mac Specialist :o
Rating: 3 Votes
13 months ago
Ok I may be dating myself but who else immediately thought "shoe phone" and in Maxwell Smart's voice ...."missed it by that much!"
Rating: 2 Votes
13 months ago
Cook is on Nike Board Of Directors

this kind of thing kinda reminds me when Steve showed Pixar movies in a demo, and were very proud of it.

Like Craig said in an interview, doing something new is easy, doing it right... is hard.
Hope they got it right for this iwatch!!!
Rating: 2 Votes
13 months ago
Push for perfection, and Tolerate only A players

- Steve Jobs
Rating: 2 Votes
13 months ago
Why do so many think so narrowly? Yes, iWatch may be coming, but it seems far more likely that Apple is trying to do something revolutionary and new. It seems to me just as likely that Ben Shaffer will be working on the iShoe, iPocketProtector, iRucksack and iBelt as it is an iWatch... and further there is an entirely spectrum of underlying technology that I'm sure and and other's are developing. Kinetic charging of batteries? Body/health sensors? etc...

Assuming the wearable space is limited to either the first forays into wearable the focused on glasses and wrist devices or simply by existing non-digital wearables is just dumb.
Rating: 1 Votes
13 months ago
They hired Zac Orth from Revolution?

Rating: 1 Votes
13 months ago
Hah, most incredible and reliable, sexiest watch in the world, my Dad's time piece the awesome Ulysse Nardin Triplejack Minute Repeater, I know, a mouthful but wow no other time piece will be worth it, no design direction from anyone including cousin IT here will impress a girl like me. ^_^ I love you Daddy!!!
Rating: 1 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]