Could Apple's latest hire help iWatch become king of fitness wearables?

Could Apple's latest hire help iWatch become king of the fitness wearables?
The Atlas Tracker can identify activity type, sets and reps

Apple has made yet another key hire in the fitness wearable realm ahead of the rumoured iWatch launch this autumn.

The Cupertino firm has acquired the services of Alex Hsieh, formerly of Atlas Wearables, who has experience of getting an independently-built, unique fitness tracker off the ground.

Hsieh was chief software engineer for the Indigogo-funded Atlas tracker, which not only monitors basic metrics like speed, calories, heart rate and time, but also the type of activity and quality of your workout.

It can identify your activity and also counts reps and sets and offers live feedback on the display, arguably making it a cut above the likes of the Jawbone UP and Nike FuelBand.

Health kick

With the Apple iWatch expected to be a health-focused device boasting 10 or more biometric sensors, the Hsieh hire could prove vital in harnessing data and displaying it on the device or via HealthKit in iOS 8.

Whether Hsieh has arrived at Apple in time to have any considerable impact on the iWatch at launch is debatable, but the Atlas man is the latest in a long line of health and fitness focussed hires at Apple.

The firm has picked up former Nike designer Ben Shaffer, who reportedly played a key role in the development of the Fuelband, as well as long-time Nike fitness advisor Jay Blahnik. Apple has also picked up a gaggle of medical experts and even a sleep guru over the course of the last year.

The firm has also reportedly called on star athletes like LA Lakers NBA star Kobe Bryant to test out the device in a professional training environment.

The Apple iWatch is expected to be unveiled at a special event in October with a release prior to the holiday season.

Via Apple Insider

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.