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Apple Hires Two Former Nike FuelBand Engineers, Possibly for iWatch Team

Earlier this year, Nike significantly downsized its FuelBand team, firing several members of the 80-person team that worked to create its well-known fitness tracker as part of a shift from hardware to software.

Apple snapped up two of the former FuelBand team members in June, Ryan Bailey and Jon Gale. As noted by 9to5Mac, Bailey, who served as a Senior Test and Validation Engineer at Nike is now listed as a Mechanical Design Engineer at Apple, while Gale, who was a Senior Firmware Engineer at Nike is now employed as a Sensing Systems Engineer at Apple.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Bailey specialized in wearable device and consumer electronic product development, focused on providing engineering recommendations to major engineering leads. Gale, meanwhile, developed hardware and firmware architectures for Nike Digital Sport products.
Primary responsibility is to define both the hardware and firmware architectures for Nike Digital Sport products. Additionally, I managed the development of product firmware through partner companies. Responsible for delivering firmware to validate the design in a manufacturing environment, define and implementation of custom protocols to interact with other components of the Nike ecosystem, and translate high-level product requirements into actionable, testable definitions. I personally owned the delivery of firmware for the Nike FuelBand product line.
It is unclear if Gale and Bailey have joined Apple's wearables team to work on the iWatch, but it is a distinct possibility given their expertise on wearable devices. Apple offers many positions under the job titles of Mechanical Design Engineer and Sensing Systems Engineer, however, so it is unknown exactly what the two are working on.

Over the course of the past year, Apple has hired several experts in the health and fitness fields to join its iWatch team, including fitness guru Jay Blahnik, sleep expert Roy Raymann, pulse oximetry expert and former Chief Medical Officer Michael O'Reilly, and several other scientists and executives from notable sensor companies like AccuVein, C8 MediSensors, and Senseonics. Most recently, the company took on the former sales director of luxury watch brand TAG Heuer, Patrick Pruniaux, possibly to help market the iWatch.

According to a recent report from The Wall Street Journal, Apple's upcoming wearable device will feature 10 different sensors to track various health and fitness metrics. It's said to integrate heavily with the Health app in iOS 8, and it may come in both multiple sizes and multiple designs to satisfy a wide range of tastes. Apple is expected to introduce the iWatch at an October event.

Related roundup: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

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16 weeks ago
All I read in this tittle is: Apple Is Nowhere Near Releasing iWatch.
Rating: 11 Votes
16 weeks ago
tim cook is the eric schmidt in nike's board room?
Rating: 5 Votes
16 weeks ago

Sounds more and more like it will be announced this year but not released until 2015. Which is fair enough.

Or hired them to work on v2.0.



So Apple hired some of the few people that Nike thought were not worth keeping?

If they are hardware engineers why would Nike keep them? Nike is giving up on hardware.
Rating: 5 Votes
16 weeks ago

All I read in this tittle is: Apple Is Nowhere Near Releasing iWatch.

Companies also hire additional personnel for future versions of their hardware. These hires say nothing about the status of a rumored iWatch.
Rating: 4 Votes
16 weeks ago
Apple is very wise to get the best in very specific niche areas of technology for all of its products - near or into the future.

This is exactly why the other "wanna bes" continually chase, file meaningless law suits & have to resort to silly, "who cares?-type ads in an attempt to bash Apple.

Tim Cook et al know exactly what they're doing, so no worries. :apple:
Rating: 4 Votes
16 weeks ago
let's hope the iWatch has wireless charging and is waterproof. both are likely deal breakers for me. Having to take out and charge *another* device will just get annoying.
Rating: 3 Votes
16 weeks ago
i'm excited about the iWatch 2
Rating: 2 Votes
16 weeks ago
Kinda doubtful we will see this product this year with all the recent goings on and the complete failure of all wearables to date. No leaks of any kind

If Apple does not release the wearable this year, every consumer will be totally cool with that. No one is holding their breath for one. No one but the bored bloggers and Wall St. "analysts" NEED to have it released ASAP.
Apple needs to take their time and get it right. With all of the recent hires it seems they still have things to do.

Detailed and methodical, release it when it's ready.
Rating: 2 Votes
16 weeks ago

Oh look, another hiring of competitor's brain to develop a competing product. How exciting.

I'm not sure what you expect. Only hire engineers right out of college who have never worked on a wearable before? It's good to have fresh thinkers AND people who have been around the block a few times.
Rating: 2 Votes
15 weeks ago
People keep on asking, "why no iWatch part leaks?". I have a theory, please bear with me.

This would potentially be the biggest product launch since the original iPhone in terms of expectations etc. Did we see any part leaks regarding that? I appreciate times are different now (people want leaks) but could it be down to where the iWatch is potentially being built?

I think that the plant where Apple builds the MacPro could also be secretly building the iWatch. Maybe it's easier keeping control over what comes into and more importantly, what goes out of that facility.

Just a thought (and a far-fetched one at that).
Rating: 1 Votes

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