If you follow my articles then you will have seen my report on how Nike recently laid off the majority of their design team working on the Nike FuelBand. Many assumed that this news signified the end for the popular wearable technology which tracks activity, sleep and a host of other parameters.
Whilst the rumours that the team had been laid off did turn out to be true Nike did issue a statement saying that they would continue to develop their technology and look for partnerships to enhance their platform. This statement created numerous rumours regarding who and when Nike would look to team up with other wearable technology companies.
The strategic move appears to have been premeditated with Nike Fuel fanatics getting extremely excited about a potential partnership with none other than the technological giant Apple. Rumours are rife that the Fuel platform is going to be incorporated into the new Apple iWatch in order to further enhance the capabilities of the technology.
The collaboration will certainly generate significant interest and hugely benefit Nike, who’s previous wearable technologies, although popular, had proved to be slightly temperamental with a tendency to break. However one can’t help but wonder why Apple, a company who could seemingly sell salt water to a fisherman, would choose to collaborate with Nike who are not a predominantly a technology company.
Either way it will certainly be interesting to see how the project develops particularly with the market for smart watches in its early stages with no great understanding of the extent at which the technology will take off. One thing can be sure, with Apple at the helm the design is most likely going to generate significant initial interest, the only question… will it lead to sustainable lifestyle change?
Jack Barton (Researcher, Rescon Ltd)