Over the weekend, it emerged that Nike was essentially closing off its FuelBand endeavors, laying off a large quantity of the project’s workforce in the process. Given the close relationship between Nike and Apple, and with the so-called iWatch on the horizon, there was always going to be a conflict of interests, but with Nike having calmed its project down to a virtual halt, the stage looks set for the iWatch to launch. However, a new report suggests that Nike and Apple are to collaborate in the creation of an apparently separate “smart band,” which will feature gesture controls and supposedly launch in the fall.
As reported a short while ago, Apple is preparing for a mass release of products in the third quarter of 2014, and with the iWatch having been one of the main topics of blogosphere chatter, it appears as though both Apple and Nike will join forces in creating a separate, sports-orientated device.
Just like the iPhone 6, which is set to spawn more than one version, it may well be that the iWatch we’ve been speculating about will also take many different forms, although today’s report from Geektime doesn’t go into any specific detail.
With gesture controls, the so-called “smart band” would presumably integrate with the iOS 8 Healthbook, an app that has been mentioned ad nauseam in the tech press. Offering a card-like interface akin to Passbook, Healthbook will be a hub of fitness and wellbeing-related tools dedicated to helping the user achieve and maintain optimal health, and with the enigmatic iWatch set to integrate with this entire infrastructure, it’s likely that any smart band from Nike and Apple will follow suit.
Nike and Apple’s partnership is a lot more closely-knit than most. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, is a board member for example, and from back in the early days of the iPod all the way up to the present moment, Nike has continually played a significant role in bringing a fitness-related edge to the Cupertino company’s range of products.
Given that the device is not due to arrive until the fall, we’re going to be waiting quite a while before we can see it in the flesh, although no doubt one or two of the usual designers will imminently come through with a visual concept of what a joint effort between Nike and Apple might look like.
Should we hear any more info on the matter, we’ll be sure to let you guys know, so stay tuned!