Apple reportedly hires fitness guru behind Nike FuelBand for unknown project

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
According to multiple reports, Apple has hired fitness expert Jay Blahnik, who consulted on Nike's FuelBand, for an unspecified project, suggesting the Cupertino company is ramping up development of a health-oriented wearable device.

FuelBand


Citing sources familiar with the matter, AllThingsD reported on Monday that Blahnik will be working at Apple in an unspecified capacity, seemingly confirming a rumor from this weekend.

As Apple has not verified the claims, Blahnik's supposed position at the company is not yet known, though it can be assumed he will be working on a fitness device possibly similar to Nike's FuelBand.

Blahnik's reported hire adds to the growing hodgepodge of rumors about Apple's so-called "iWatch." At the D11 conference in May, Apple CEO Tim Cook lauded the FuelBand when asked about a possible Apple-branded wearable device.

"The whole sensor field is going to explode," Cook said. "It's a little all over the place right now. With the arc of time it will become clearer."

This isn't the first time Apple has shown interest in the health monitoring market. A report in July found the was looking to hire a number of experts from the "non-invasive medical sensor" field, with specialties ranging from vein mapping to glucose tracking.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo noted earlier this year that Apple is looking to produce a wrist-worn device that does more than tell the time and serve as a smartphone remote control. Instead, he believes the product will focus on biometric security and advanced healthcare features.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    Is he related to Manolo?
  • Reply 2 of 17
    The pebble smart watch is a really cool idea, and I thought of getting one. But, if Apple enters the field I have a feeling it'll blow the pebble out of the water.
  • Reply 3 of 17
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    I hope apple unveils the iWatch sooner rather than later. I'm tired of hearing about the Samsung galaxy gear
  • Reply 4 of 17
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,393member
    To put it nicely, the Fuelband is a gimick. If this was the lead of that project I have low expectations for the project he is working on with apple.

    I was so excited for the fuelband. It rarely worked as intended. Working at Nike during all this, I suggested a pulse monitor for better results, but instead they kept the gimick train going.
  • Reply 5 of 17
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    emig647 wrote: »
    To put it nicely, the Fuelband is a gimick. If this was the lead of that project I have low expectations for the project he is working on with apple.

    I was so excited for the fuelband. It rarely worked as intended. Working at Nike during all this, I suggested a pulse monitor for better results, but instead they kept the gimick train going.

    blackbook wrote: »
    I hope apple unveils the iWatch sooner rather than later. I'm tired of hearing about the Samsung galaxy gear

    I agree black book- it would be nice. Even if they announced a smart watch version this fall or potentially in the spring and increased the features for the next model- and that's what this hire is for. I have a coworker who just bought a pebble- it's ok and the watch itself looks decent- but the digital UI just doesn't look sleek. Apple would fix that.
  • Reply 6 of 17


    The Apple watch has to have a fitness aspect to it....why else would someone wear it?

  • Reply 7 of 17

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by emig647 View Post



    To put it nicely, the Fuelband is a gimick. If this was the lead of that project I have low expectations for the project he is working on with apple.



    I was so excited for the fuelband. It rarely worked as intended. Working at Nike during all this, I suggested a pulse monitor for better results, but instead they kept the gimick train going.


    I am of similar mind. I bought a Nike wristband something-or-other for running; and #1, you couldn't read the read-out outdoors while running and #2, b/c the detachable USB was curved it wouldn't fit in my MacBook! Ugh!


     


    Stevo was right Nike makes a lot of sh*t products. I've stayed away from them ever since. Shoes, clothes, golf clubs, tennis and running shoes! :)

  • Reply 8 of 17
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    After thinking about this hire a minute- it's brilliant. You can have all the geeky notifications and things that would make this device super functional. By adding an extremely functional fitness aspect, it is now also a sexy device. Oh- you're wearing an iWatch? Clearly you're interested in fitness. And being fit is sexy and attractive. So they get the "cool, sexy" factor while still being completely functional and not nerdy.

    Geniuses, these Apple folk.
  • Reply 9 of 17
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post




    Stevo was right Nike makes a lot of sh*t products. I've stayed away from them ever since. Shoes, clothes, golf clubs, tennis and running shoes! :)



    Steve did acknowledge that they made some really good products too.


     


    Nike makes really good stuff. You just need to buy the high end line. I tried the same top of the line, made in USA, New Balance shoes that Steve wore but I found them to be inferior to Nike's top of the line so I switched back. I also use Nike clubs, but not their driver or putter. I do prefer their golf apparel. You have to evaluate each product to find the best. Just because something is made by Apple doesn't mean it is better than every other product in the category. I have a lot of Apple gear but I am open minded to any other brands if I think it offers superior quality. For one, I wouldn't ever use use Mac OS X Sever again. Terrible product. I have been hoodwinked plenty of times with buying into the brand name mystique. I bought a couple BMWs before I realized they were not really that great. Same with Sony TVs. You think you are buying the best name brand but your thinking is being clouded by some brand allegiance that is unwarranted. Just because Steve said something negative about Nike is no reason to universally reject all of their products. That is just fanatical fanboiism.

  • Reply 10 of 17
    andysol wrote: »
    After thinking about this hire a minute- it's brilliant. You can have all the geeky notifications and things that would make this device super functional. By adding an extremely functional fitness aspect, it is now also a sexy device. Oh- you're wearing an iWatch? Clearly you're interested in fitness. And being fit is sexy and attractive. So they get the "cool, sexy" factor while still being completely functional and not nerdy.

    Geniuses, these Apple folk.
    Wow GREAT point right there. Make something into the cool thing. Not just the watch part but the idea of a watch. Wanted to point out my appreciation of ur post.
  • Reply 11 of 17
    mstone wrote: »
    Steve did acknowledge that they made some really good products too.

    Nike makes really good stuff. You just need to buy the high end line.
    I did away with Nike running shoes years ago. As someone who runs due to the nature or their job, I've only gotten knee pains and blisters on my Achilles from their shoes. My only guess is that they weren't made for my feet. I've been running with Asics and it's like stepping on pillows, huge difference in quality.

    But I will say that if you spend less than $100 for running shoes, you're wasting your money. But Nike isn't the best at being top of the line for me, IMO.
  • Reply 12 of 17
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post



    Steve did acknowledge that they made some really good products too.



    Nike makes really good stuff. You just need to buy the high end line.


    I did away with Nike running shoes years ago. As someone who runs due to the nature or their job, I've only gotten knee pains and blisters on my Achilles from their shoes. My only guess is that they weren't made for my feet. I've been running with Asics and it's like stepping on pillows, huge difference in quality.



    But I will say that if you spend less than $100 for running shoes, you're wasting your money. But Nike isn't the best at being top of the line for me, IMO.


    Well, perfect example of the point I was trying to make. Find the best product for your needs without being influenced by other people's opinions. My brother likes Asics too and he used to design shoes for Nike. I have not tried Asics. I have to admit, despite my decree of unbiased open mindedness, I went U of O and met Phil Knight in the early days and lived next door to Steve Prefontain over the bsck fence, so well, I'm a bit biased still I guess.

  • Reply 13 of 17
    asciiascii Posts: 5,518member


    They applied for a cardiac sensor patent a few years ago, I wonder if that could be part of it?


    http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2010/05/apple-takes-a-giant-leap-in-biometrics-with-heart-sensors.html

  • Reply 14 of 17
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,387member
    According to multiple reports, Apple has hired fitness expert Jay Blahnik, who consulted on Nike's FuelBand, for an unspecified project, suggesting the Cupertino company is ramping up development of a health-oriented wearable device.

    Suggesting? Phu-leaze. Why o why the assumptions here? I'm in IT, and might therefore have a black/white, yes/no, on/off view on things, but what's next? Apple hiring an ex-MS employee and the tech world is going to report Apple is about to make poorly designed software¿

    For all we know the Nike fitness expert has extensive knowledge on ANT+ tech (thisisant.com) and Apple is dabbling on the idea of including the needed radio/antenna in their next iPhone, something I would very much like (using Garmin gear now; and it so totally sucks I don't even want to discus it)
  • Reply 15 of 17
    thedbathedba Posts: 441member
    Some of the comments here seem to be missing the forest from the trees.
    I was very excited to see that they may be seriously looking into the Nike fuel band. The form factor at least is very subtle, nice out of the way kind of thing. Not that an eventual iWatch will look exactly like it but at least see how far that type of design can be taken.
    At the same time, look at some of the current fitness offerings from Polar, Timex et al. They're downright ugly. This big bulge with way too many buttons and complicated functionality.
    Now imagine something simple like a fuel band type of device, paired with the Strava app. The information you need at the time you need it. Once the training run/ride is over simply take your iPhone and upload the stats.
    Let Samsung make a watch where you can tweet, facebook read your e-mails etc.
    IMO, if this turns out to be true, Apple is on the right track again and the immitators will soon scrap their designs and claim it was just natural design evolution that brought up their new Apple like devices.
  • Reply 16 of 17
    mhiklmhikl Posts: 471member
    Tim 's a skinny workaholic. He' getting tired of all the lard asses round him and he's worried about Jon's huge tummy. Sometimes we over think the simple.
  • Reply 17 of 17
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,387member
    mhikl wrote: »
    Tim 's a skinny workaholic. He' getting tired of all the lard asses round him and he's worried about Jon's huge tummy. Sometimes we over think the simple.

    Saywhatbro?
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