June 27, 2014
Apple has just made another key hire that points to the development of its long-rumored smart watch. As noted by Network World (via 9to5Mac), the company has hired Alex Hsieh as one of its firmware developers. Before joining Apple, Hsieh was the lead software engineer at Atlas Wearables. According to his LinkedIn profile, Hsieh worked at Atlas from October 2013 to May 2014. He started working at Apple earlier this month. Apparently, Hsieh was recruited by Apple to work on the firmware of its so-called "iWatch," which is widely rumored to make its debut this fall. At Atlas, Hsieh notably worked on a HealthKit-like API that would allow third-party developers to integrate their software with his former company's hardware. Atlas' flagship product is a fitness tracker that can identify exercises, count reps and sets, calculate burned calories, and evaluate form. It's still in prototype stage, though, with Hsieh providing an update on the product as late as last February in the video below: If you can't see the video embedded above, please click here. Hsieh's recruitment is just the latest in a series of hires made by Apple (from the tech, fitness, medical and fashion industries) that hint at the imminent launch of the iWatch. Apple has even reportedly sought the help of professional athletes to test the fabled device. The iWatch is expected to be launched by Apple in October. According to earlier reports, it will be available in multiple display sizes and come equipped with more than 10 sensors including ones to track health and fitness.