It was reported recently that Apple had hired a top design director from Nike to work on its wearable devices. The designer was said to have worked on the Nike Fuelband, but a new report contradicts that claim.
A couple of days ago it was reported that Ben Shaffer, the Studio Director of the Innovation Kitchen at Nike, had been hired by Apple. Up till now there has been no confirmation of his appointment. The reason behind his appointment at Apple was said to be his work with the Fuelband fitness tracker. It was believed that Shaffer’s work with the Fuelband would come in handy for Apple as it looks to develop its very own smartwatch, commonly referred to as the iWatch. A new report claims that while Shaffer did lead the Innovation Kitchen, he never worked on the Fuelband.
The report claims that Nike didn’t even make the Fuelband inside the Innovation Kitchen. Apparently the product was under the Digital Sport group which is based in a separate building. Knitting machines and shoe prototypes are said to be all over the Innovation Kitchen, which implies that Shaffer’s work was exclusively limited to Nike’s shoes, particularly its latest Flyknit shoe.
So if this report is true, why has Apple hired a shoe designer? One can’t expect the company to go in the business of making footwear. Perhaps there might be a way that Shaffer could contribute to Apple’s wearable technology efforts, but no one knows right now what exactly is his role at the company.
Source: Fast Company