Nike and Apple may work together to develop ‘smart band’, which will mark the end of Nike’s standalone presence in the hardware market.
Nike and Apple are rumoured to be working together to develop a ‘smart band’. The device could replace the widely rumoured ‘iWatch’, and coincides with Nike’s exit from the wearables market. The wearable device will track user activity and come with a number of sensors capable of tracking movement. It is also rumoured that users will be able to operate the device using gestures, similar to smartphones.
The end of Nike’s FuelBand, a wearable fitness tracker, was marked last week when Nike laid off the majority of its digital sport hardware engineering team. It is reported that Nike will no longer be producing hardware, but will still be involved in wearable devices, perhaps realting to this latest development.
Given the long history between Apple and Nike, this could become the perfect partnership. The iPhone 5S, for instance, allows fitness apps to track motion without turning on the full power of the main processor. This is through the M7 chip, an advanced motion coprocessor. At the time of the iPhone 5S’s announcement, Apple used the Nike+ Move as a demo app.
Nike has been hinting at its exit from the wearble hardware market for some time now. Steven Olander, the Nike Vice President of Digital Sport, said: “When Nike developed the FuelBand SE, people asked if we were becoming a technology company. But that was never the intention.”
Mr Olander added: “We weren’t so much excited about the thing as what the thing enabled, which is motivating people because they have a way to measure how active they are – we have a saying that you can’t improve what you can’t measure.”
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