Athletic shoe and apparel giant Nike has begun sending invitations to the media for a mid-October event, dubbed the "NikeFuel Forum," where the company will outline the future of its NikeFuel activity tracking initiative, reports CNET. Rumored to make an appearance at the event is a new version of its FuelBand fitness tracker.
The wearable health tracker is ripe for a hardware upgrade, as Nike has has yet to issue a refresh since the original FuelBand debuted in January 2012. According to a report from Gear Live, the so-called "FuelBand 2" will incorporate a heart rate monitor, more responsive LEDs, and Bluetooth low energy support for syncing to iOS devices.
Nike and Apple have a long history of collaboration, with Nike+ integration included in the iPod and iPhone, while the FuelBand's companion apps remain iOS-exclusive. Apple CEO Tim Cook praised the FuelBand at the D11 conference in May, saying the Beaverton-based company did a "great job" on the product. Cook also revealed that he is a regular user of the device.
As the "quantified self" movement heats up with products like the FuelBand, Jawbone's Up, and FitBit's series of wearable devices proving popular, Apple has begun to pay more attention to the segment. Cupertino's new flagship iPhone 5s shipped with the M7 motion coprocessor, a discrete chip on the handset's logic board that allows the iPhone to continue collecting motion tracking data from the device's sensors without waking up the more powerful A7 processor, thereby enhancing battery life.
Additionally, iOS 7 rolled out with a new set of APIs that enable easier device pairing and synchronization. For example, iOS 7's state preservation and restoration service allows Bluetooth devices to maintain their connection to the handset for background data transfer, even if apps requesting the assets are not running. That means fitness trackers like the FuelBand can continue to synchronize data to an iOS device without the need for user intervention.