Date: Monday, April 21st, 2014, 09:24
Category: Accessory, Consumer Electronics, Hardware, News, Wearables
It looks like there will be one less company competing in the wearables market with the iWatch. According to CNET, Nike is closing down its wearable hardware development, which includes the FuelBand, in order to focus on its software efforts. As a result, the 70 employees on the FuelBand team are being let go, with a handful staying on until May.
The team members were split between Nike’s Hong Kong offices, with the remainder of the team at Nike’s Beaverton, Ore., headquarters. On the bright side, other departments within Nike will have an opportunity to recruit some of the departing employees.
The layoffs do not just affect the FuelBand, Nike’s Digital Sport hardware team also worked on the Nike+ sportwatch and other sport-specific products. The work included areas like industrial design; manufacturing operations; electrical and mechanical hardware engineering; and software interface design. Although Nike has cancelled plans for a slimmer version of the FuelBand, they will not stop selling the second-generation FuelBand SE for now. Nike spokesman Brian Strong confirmed;
“The Nike+ FuelBand SE remains an important part of our business. We will continue to improve the Nike+ FuelBand App, launch new METALUXE colors, and we will sell and support the Nike+ FuelBand SE for the foreseeable future.”
Nike will continue its software development and likely develop partnerships with other hardware manufacturers as it has with Apple in the past with the iPod Sensor, which is still being sold, but slowly loosing its usefulness as Apple adds better motion tracking hardware to its devices.
Sorry to see the FuelBand go? Does this make you more likely to buy the mythical iWatch? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page.