Design March, 21 2013

Stefan Olander, Nike VP of Digital Sport on the Birth of the Fuelband and those early Prototypes

Fast Company look back at the beginnings of activity tracker, Nike Fuelband. Development began in 2010 with a secret team of 13 dedicated to testing the product on the Nike campus. The initial idea centered around the sweatband. Stefan Olander, Nike VP of Digital Sport, comments ‘in 50 years, no one had done anything with the sweatband, with that real estate of the wrist’. So, what appeared was the wide velcro band with large bright green digital display shown above, a product based on loud colour in the company’s popular ‘Volt’ shade. CEO Mark Parker approved the early design, likening it to the Livestrong bracelet in its simplicity. However, when it came to actual production the band seemed unworkable, both the battery taken to run such a big counter and the flexibility of the display were huge issues, Olander remembers ‘When we sat down with our engineers and industrial designers, they gasped’. 6 more prototypes were made and the teamed turned to outside expertise from industrial design firm Astro Studios, interactive agency R/GA, and engineering companies Synapse and Whipsaw. The Fuelband or Nike Power, Game Fuel or Power Fuel as it was nearly name, was on its way to the sleek design sported on wrists worldwide today. Head over to Fast Company for the full story.
  1. Source: Fast Co.
  2. Photography: Nike
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