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Apple picks up two engineers from spun down Nike FuelBand team

post #1 of 8
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Apple's rumored wearables team, widely thought to be working on a so-called "iWatch" device, recently got an infusion of new talent as the company brought on two former engineers from Nike's stagnant FuelBand program.

FuelBand SE


According to their LinkedIn profiles, hardware engineer Ryan Bailey and sensor software expert Jon Gale were picked up by Apple in June, less than two months after Nike fired a "small number" of employees working on the FuelBand fitness tracker.

As noted by 9to5Mac, Bailey worked as a Senior Test and Validation Engineer at Nike, while Gale collaborated with partner companies to develop FuelBand firmware as a Senior Firmware Engineer. Bailey now holds the title of Mechanical Design Engineer at Apple and Gale is listed as a Sensing Systems Engineer.

Apple's latest hires come from the ashes of Nike's Digital Sport arm, which in April axed an undisclosed number of workers from the division's hardware team. Responsible for products like the FuelBand SE, Nike+ sportwatch and other wearable devices, Nike Digital Sport once consisted of 70 hardware engineers and 200 software engineers. At the time, rumors claimed up to 55 people from the hardware side were let go.

Bailey and Gale will likely join Apple's growing team of wearable device experts that include fitness guru Jay Blahnik, who consulted on Nike's FuelBand project, and former Atlas Wearables software engineer Alex Hsieh. Most recently, the head of TAG Heuer's luxury watch brand business Jean-Claude Biver revealed that Apple took on former sales director Patrick Pruniaux to assist in rolling out the anticipated iWatch.

Apple's other iWatch-related hires include a number of experts from the medical sensor field, pulse oximeter firm Masimo Corporation executive Michael O'Reilly and Philips Research sleep expert Roy Raymann.
post #2 of 8

I think the hire from TAG Heuer was sufficient to convince me an iWatch/iBand was in the works.

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #3 of 8
Apple is building a super team here!!
post #4 of 8
You know, it is possible this is not iWatch related and just Apple needing raw talent and skills. Anytime Apple recruiters ping me for interest in working for them it isn't because of some uber secret video game project.
post #5 of 8
Although I think it's great Apple is hiring all of this talent, doesn't the fact that they are still hiring people to help with the iWatch suggest that the rumored device isn't yet close to production? If the rumor of an October release is true (which I think was one rumor posted on this site), wouldn't these recruits have been needed earlier?
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Hartsell View Post

Although I think it's great Apple is hiring all of this talent, doesn't the fact that they are still hiring people to help with the iWatch suggest that the rumored device isn't yet close to production? If the rumor of an October release is true (which I think was one rumor posted on this site), wouldn't these recruits have been needed earlier?
They are probably already heavily into iWatch 2 development.
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Hartsell View Post

Although I think it's great Apple is hiring all of this talent, doesn't the fact that they are still hiring people to help with the iWatch suggest that the rumored device isn't yet close to production? If the rumor of an October release is true (which I think was one rumor posted on this site), wouldn't these recruits have been needed earlier?

 

Since Apple rarely rushes anything into production, my guess is that the "consumer" level (fitness/health-type device) product will be introduced first, and a luxury type product (more of a very nice watch) will follow later (as suggested by the TAG Heuer hiring).

 

Apple plays the long game, so it's difficult to predict immediate product introductions based on all these hirings (PA Semiconductor comes to mind).

post #8 of 8
Maybe they'll call it the iBayWatch.

Then, they can get Hasselhorf and Pamela Anderson to promote the men and women's versions.
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