From fashion to fitness part II: Apple hires a pair of key Nike FuelBand engineers

Wearables

This is an update to a February post in which we rounded up all recent Apple hires pertinent to the development of the upcoming iWatch. This post includes the addition of several new hires and experts, including a pair of key Nike FuelBand hardware engineers, and the new hires are labeled with italics.

Apple has been developing a sensor-laden, fitness- and medical-focused wearable computer as indicated by several notable recent hires and information we have received from sources. The device will have a focus on both fashion and exercise as Apple has been testing the device with key professional athletes. We’re expecting the product to be announced in October of this year and ship by the holiday season. As the  launch of the “iWatch” approaches, we have compiled an up-to-date list (into categories of leadership, fashion, fitness, and health) of all known and pertinent recent Apple hires to provide a clearer picture of what Apple’s future wearable technologies could offer to consumers…

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iWatch “an opportunity for high-end watch brands” says analyst as Apple hires TAG Heuer exec

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CNBC reports that Apple has hired the sales director of luxury Swiss watch maker TAG Heuer for an iWatch marketing role. The hire was reportedly confirmed by the head of the parent company’s watch brands, Jean-Claude Biver.

Biver said the watchmaker’s sales director left as recently as last week, “to take a contract with Apple” in order to launch the iWatch. LVMH owns Swiss watchmakers TAG Heuer, Hublot and Zenith …

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Android Wear gives us a glimpse at what home automation with an iWatch should look like

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Home automation, a category more broadly referred to as the “internet of things,” is almost surely going to be a large and growing market in the coming years. And while Apple’s recently announced entry is the forthcoming HomeKit platform, Google has yet to announce anything exactly equivalent. At I/O 2014, however, Google did announce its plan for Nest, and shed much more light on its Android Wear smartwatch operating system.

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‘Parenthood’ iPhone ad airs with focus on families and HomeKit devices

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Apple has begun airing a new TV ad to promote the iPhone 5s that focuses on uses by parents within both “Smart Homes” and in everyday family life. The ad, aptly named “Parenthood,” shows how the iPhone can be used to record home video, find a lost dog, monitor the children, and turn off the lights in the living room. The ad comes ahead of HomeKit Smart Home appliance integration with iOS 8 this fall. Sources have also indicated that Apple is developing its own line of connected hardware for the home. Apple’s previous iPhone ad, part of the same “more powerful than you think series” demonstrated various uses for the iPhone in the health and fitness space. You can watch the latest ad below:

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Apple said to be working on ‘mainstream’ Smart Home hardware

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With iPhones in pockets, Macs on desks, iPads in bags, and iWatches soon coming to the wrist, Apple is said to be eyeing another category for continued growth: Smart Home hardware. The Cupertino-company is said to have assembled a team to work on various hardware products for the home that deeply integrate with the existing array of Apple devices on the market…

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Apple said to team up with pro athletes to test iWatch fitness capabilities

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Apple has teamed up with some of the sports world’s most notable professional athletes in order to test the upcoming “iWatch’s” fitness capabilities in intense training environments, according to a source with knowledge of the testing. This source says that Apple has invited athletes from the MLB, NHL, and NBA to its Cupertino-based campus on multiple occasions over the past several weeks to brief the players on the upcoming wearable device and provide an opportunity for testing to be conducted in professional conditioning environments.

Apple is said to be working with Los Angeles Lakers basketball player Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Kings right winger Dustin Brown, and a few other star athletes, including a player from the Boston Red Sox, on the testing project. The athletes are said to have signed non-disclosure-agreements regarding the existence of the upcoming Apple wearable device. Nonetheless, Bryant was spotted at Apple’s campus last month meeting with Apple design chief Jony Ive. Indeed, the meeting between the pair is said to have been in regards to “iWatch” testing…

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