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Nest reportedly attempting to recruit FuelBand engineers, but why?

Nest recently held a private get-together in Beaverton, Oregon. The goal of the event reportedly was to potentially recruit Nike Fuel Band team members.
April 25, 2014

It has been a crazy year so far, with Google preparing to unload Motorola and then subsequently buying up smart devices company Nest. While Nest continues to publicly focus primarily on its smart thermostat and other smart home ambitions, it’s rumored that the company could end up becoming the ‘core’ hardware group for Google going forward.

If Google does intend to make Nest an important hardware division of the company, this likely means that the company will eventually expand into other avenues outside of the smart home and the Internet of Things. What kind of things? While we can’t say with any certainty what will happen next, Nest’s recent trip to Beaverton, Oregon might give us a small clue as to what the future could bring.

Recruiting in Beaverton

If you’re wondering what’s in Beaverton, the answer is Nike, or more specifically, the Nike FuelBand team.

If you’re wondering what’s in Beaverton, the answer is Nike

If you haven’t already heard, things haven’t been going so great for the FuelBand as of late, and this has led to rumors that the shoe maker is cutting loose a sizable portion of its FuelBand team, while shifting its focus away from hardware. In fact, Nike’s CEO Mike Parker confirmed earlier today that the company does plan to focus more on software going forward, and hints the technology will end up in other products such as the rumored Apple iWatch.

Nike’s CEO didn’t go into specifics about what this change means for the FuelBand hardware or most of its existing team, but all this uncertainty probably is enough to make remaining FuelBand team members a little antsy about their future. With this in mind, TechCrunch has learned from sources “familiar with the situation” that Nest held a special meeting at a local hotel yesterday geared towards reaching out to and potentially recruiting former and current members of the FuelBand team.

While TechCrunch can’t reveal its sources, they do note that they independently confirmed that Nest did in fact book a conference room at a local hotel on April 24th. Still, we’d take all of this with a grain of salt for now.


Why snipe up the FuelBand team?

While Nike’s wearable hasn’t been a massive success by any means, a lot of the device’s problems have been centered around marketing. Fitbit markets towards everyday folks looking to improve their health and has found a lot of success in doing so. On the other hand, FuelBand’s commercials were geared more towards the hardcore athlete.

Bottom-line, the Nike FuelBand engineers are skilled, and this talent could come in handy for Nest as they further expand their hardware ambitions in the months and years to come. Does reaching out to Fuel Band team members mean that Nest is interested in fitness tracking or even wearables? Not necessarily.

the Nike FuelBand engineers are skilled, and this talent could come in handy for Nest

With the fairly recent announcement of the Android Wear platform, I’d personally love to see Google release their own wearables, utilizing Nest to do it. If this is something Google and Nest have in mind, the Nike Fuel Band members could come in handy. Still, even if Nest’s ambitions have nothing to do with fitness or wearables, we’re sure that there are many different ways that Nest could take advantage of such talent.

What do you think of the move, does this confirm suspicions that Google intends to significantly expand Nest’s reach outside of its current scope? Do you think that Google and Nest would be wise to recruit former Nike team members or not?