iWatch: Apple hires two Nike FuelBand engineers

Possible clues about Apple's upcoming mystery wearable

Nike's recent announcement that the firm would stop developing its fitness-tracking FuelBand means some of the team have had their labour freed up.

Apple's hired two FuelBand engineers to join its R&D department, and we're guessing they're not there for the scenery.

The first new Apple employee is Ryan Bailey, who worked on the FuelBand before he became a mechnical design engineer over at 1 Infinity Loop.

His LinkedIn profile gives an insight into his work at Nike, which included 'wearable devices and consumer electronics product development', as well as driving "durability and process improvements to improve FuelBand 1.'

The second ex-Nikester is Jon Gale, now receivied paychecks for his role at Apple as a 'sensing systems engineer.'

Gale's job back at Nike was instrumental to the FuelBand's firmware, and he was integral in the smartbands creation. His LinkedIn boasts 'primary responsibility to define both the hardware and firmware architectures for Nike Digital Sport products', as well as the key tidbit 'I personally owned the delivery of firmware for the Nike FuelBand product line.'

Firmware is the permanent read-only software stored on a device that doesn't get changed. Most consumer electronic devices carry firmware, and the iWatch will certainly contain the stuff.

We're aware that the pair might have joined Apple to do non-iWatch stuff, but we're guessing that's not the case. These guys were heavily involved in producing the FuelBand from the ground up, and so they'd be a very sensible addition to Apple's iWatch team.

With the iWatch potentially just around the corner, check out our round-up of the rumours on Apple's upcoming wearable.

Via 9to5mac