The rumored iWatch smartwatch is not yet confirmed, but many top Apple execs as well as new hires are reportedly working on the product. An in-depth 9to5Mac profile of various existing and new Apple employees reveals that not only is the iWatch expected to look good and appeal to a variety of buyers, but also to offer plenty of smart features thanks to the many talents currently at work for it.
Jeff Williams, senior vice president of operations; Bud Tribble, vice president of software technology; Bob Mansfield, special projects; James Foster, senior director engineering; Kevin Lynch, vice president of technology and Achim Pantfoerder, engineering manage are some of Apple’s execs involved in one way of the other in the iWatch project, at least according to the publication. Other iconic Apple employees including Jony Ive and Craig Federighi may also be involved with the project, considering that the iWatch is expected to closely work with other iOS devices.
In addition to its well-versed team of designers and engineers, Apple has hired other professionals for their specific expertise, whether related to potential fitness, sleep or health features that may be related to a wearable device, or for their experience with designing and selling products that people want to buy.
Jay Blahnik worked at Nike on the Fuel Band and other fitness companies until last year when he joined Apple. Roy Raymann, a recently Apple hire, researched sleep at Philips Research until leaving his position, and his résumé includes “extensive research into non-pharmacological methods of altering sleep quality,” and has experience in wearable sensors and miniaturization technology related to sleep.
Ueyn Block is an optical engineering scientist who worked before arriving at Apple on technologies that can measure substances in the human body in a non invasive way. Nancy Dougherty joined Apple in late 2013 and is a hardware engineer with experience in medical products including wearable devices such as ingestible, Bluetooth-connected smart pills. Todd Whitehurst joined Apple last summer, and he previously worked on wireless smartphone-connected body sensors.
Michael O’Reilly also joined the company last summer, after working among other things on an iPhone application for sensing pulse at his previous employer Masimo – O’Reilly was also included in Apple’s mid-December FDA meetings. Ravi Narasimhan joined Apple in late 2013, and he’s an expert in biosensors and wireless communications.
The other day, Apple posted a job listing for a fitness and health devices tester, although that listing has since been removed.
On top of potential iWatch features, other Apple recent hires will likely be involved in making the product look good. One such person may be Paul Deneve, former Yves Saint Laurent CEO who joined Apple in July 2013 to serve under Tim Cook for special projects. Former Nike designer Ben Shaffer, who worked on the FuelBand and other devices, will also be involved in the iWatch product.
Angela Ahrendts, former CEO of Burberry, also knows a thing or two about selling fashion-related goods and could help with the iWatch product, although she isn’t specifically linked to this rumored iWatch team – instead she will be taking over the senior vice president of retail position.
In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Tim Cook assured customers, analysts and investors that the company is working on new products without confirming the iWatch, although given all the hires that Apple has made recently it’s pretty much a given.