Apple has reportedly hired one of Nike’s leading designers, with a view to working on wearable devices like the long-rumoured Apple Watch smartwatch.
9to5Mac says Ben Shaffer, the studio director Innovation Kitchen, Nike’s R&D lab, which is responsible for the FuelBand fitness wristband that launched in 2012 to decent critical and commercial acclaim.
Speculation in recent months has suggested that any Apple iWatch release will place a big focus on wellness and fitness apps. The company is already tight with Nike due to its long association with the Nike platform and now the Nike Move app for the iPhone 5S.
iWatch rumours have been in short supply in recent weeks, suggesting a launch is not on the cards for the this year, but speculation will certainly crank out now one of Nike’s finest is on board.
According to the report, Apple CEO and Nike board member Tim Cook, as well as other high rankings executives at Cupertino, are big fans of the FuelBand, which would have surely influenced Shaffer’s appointment.
Of course, the Nike FuelBand isn’t Shaffer’s only achievement with Nike. He’s also worked on the development of the Flyknit Shoe.
Neither Nike nor Apple has confirmed the move, so we’ll update this story when more information becomes available.