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Apple poaches another Nike designer adding fuel to iWatch rumours

Apple has snared one of Nike’s chief design directors as it continues towards offering wearable technology at some point in the coming months.

A source at Nike told 9to5mac (opens in new tab) that Ben Shaffer leaves his position as studio director responsible for Innovation Kitchen – Nike’s research and development lab where new products are thought up.

Whilst under Shaffer’s leadership the company was named by Fast Company as 2013’s most innovative company and the studio most recently produced the Nike Fuel Band and Flyknit shoes.

It comes only a month after Apple recruited Nike Fuel Band consultant Jay Blahnik (opens in new tab) from the same company and adds substance to the continue rumours about an Apple iWatch (opens in new tab).

The fact that Apple has welcomed two prominent Nike designers on board is leading many to suggest that Apple’s wearable will have a strong health and fitness focus with Nike playing a prominent role in the end product.

In addition to this, 9to5mac earlier reported that vein mapping firm AccuVein and the developers of glucose level monitoring device C8 MediSensors and Senseonics both lost employees to Apple.

Wearables are popular among Apple executives with the likes of CEO Tim Cook seen sporting technology around the company headquarters.

Former senior vice president Bob Mansfield (opens in new tab) is a known admirer of wearables and his new position working on “special projects” is linked to the company’s push to release a smartwatch type product at some point in the near future.

Samsung beat Apple to the punch when it came to unleashing a smartwatch with the Galaxy Gear smartwatch. The device, which paired with a Samsung smartphone, allows the users to send and receive calls and messages, with a built-in camera and various specially designed apps allowing the device to be used in a similar way to the phone.

Jamie Hinks
Jamie Hinks

Jamie is a freelance writer with over eight years experience writing for online audiences about technology and other topics. In his time writing for ITProPortal he wrote daily news stories covering the IT industry and the worldwide technology market, as well as features that covered every part of the IT market, from the latest start ups to multinational companies and everything encompassed by the IT sector. He has also written tech content for our sister publication, TechRadar Pro. Jamie has since moved into sports betting content and is Content Manager at Betbull.