One of the first brands to make wearables is getting out of the market, does this mean the future is dimming for the form factor?
Nike has laid off the majority of its 70-person hardware team, and is killing the FuelBand line as it “refocuses” its business efforts according to a report from CNET.
“As a fast-paced, global business we continually align resources with business priorities,” a Nike spokesperson told CNET. “As our Digital Sport priorities evolve, we expect to make changes within the team, and there will be a small number of layoffs. We do not comment on individual employment matters.”
CNET reported late Friday that as many as 55 people on Nike’s 70-person hardware team were laid off on Thursday. The hardware team is responsible for designing the FuelBand, Nike+ sportwatch, and other peripherals. The FuelBand refresh planned for the summer or fall has been cancelled because of the layoffs.
Reportedly, Nike is planning a big shift to software such as making a Nike+ API that OEMs can integrate into their hardware.
Between the failure of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, the hostility to Google Glass, and the shuttering of Nike’s FireBand division the future is looking bleak for the form factor. Despite hype from manufacturers and the press that wearables will be the “next big thing” in consumer tech, consumers have given the form factor a chilly reception. Perhaps the demise of the FireBand is foretelling of what’s to come next with wearables.