Misfit wearables, makers of the Shine fitness tracker, has announced a new appointment at the company, Josh Banko, who will be focusing on building up a quality engineering team to continue hardware development moving forward. Banko is quite a high profile name in his own right though, having previously helped develop the iPad at Apple, as VP of hardware.
As Venturebeat explains, he also had a hand in designing the recent Mac Pro, which changed up the usual form factor significantly. In his role at Misfit he’ll be looking to do something similar, though current-gen products don’t quite need a renovaiton just yet, as the Shine seems to be doing well on its own.
Misfit claims that so far it’s sold over 400,000 Shines to the public, which should give it enough funds to develop future products, like the recently announced Beddit sleep monitor. It’s also received a whopping $23 million in investor funding over the past year, after pulling in $850,000 from its IndieGogo campaign.
“I think Misfit is kind of taking a radical approach by not charging with the Shine,” Banko said in an interview, referencing the fact that the Shine uses a camera battery rather than the usual lithium-ion rechargeable ones found in most wearables.. “There’s a need to miniaturize the technology, to make it seamless in someone’s life.”
He has a point too, as if the Shine’s sales numbers are true, they’re a lot higher than many other wearable manfacutrers, but of course the Shine is very small, quite cheap and is versatile in its positioning. You can wear it as a brooch, on your wrist as a watch, or around your neck as a necklace.
Banko wouldn’t be drawn on what sort of products that Misfit was working on, but did suggest that by the end of the year we’d see something new and exciting from the company.
“One thing I learned from Apple was to push the limits of things, we didn’t constrain people,” Banko said. “We want to have that same mindset [at Misfit]. We’ll do anything that we feel is compelling to consumers, and we’ll execute so it’s the most delightful product they know.”
Misfit may indeed need to branch out with its next wearable, as the scene is a lot more saturated than it was when it began its journey a couple of years ago. Even though activity trackers are the most popular wearable right now, the marketplace is in need of something that take the technology to the next level. It will be interesting to see if Misfit can make that something.