Nike+ FuelBand

Nike approached Synapse with the exciting mission to make the Livestrong band smart—an extraordinarily low power wearable device to monitor and motivate users during daily usage.

Synapse collaborated with Nike and their partners to develop electromechanical architecture options for the Nike+ FuelBand, which were investigated via non-form factor test vehicles in parallel with the development of the form-factor assembly. Using this non-form factor approach, the team encountered key design challenges before committing to a final product architecture and working through detailed design for mass production. Synapse also developed the device firmware as well as the mobile framework that allows the Nike+ Fuelband to talk to iPhones.

Throughout the development of the Nike+ FuelBand, Synapse exhaustively tested and qualified parts that had never before seen production, notably a novel curved lithium polymer battery. Synapse remained involved in the project after product launch to help Nike continuously enhance the performance of the device and overall user experience.

Key challenges

  • Experience testing and validation
  • Data compression for transmission over Bluetooth Classic
  • Low power architecture development to enable long battery life
  • Critical custom component identification and validation
  • Curved battery development to enable form-factor with sufficient battery capacity
  • Design for reliability and manufacture across multiple sizes
  • RF design, test, and certification

Synapse was engaged from early concept generation through launch and ramp to millions of units, helping Nike release a product that defined a new wearable category.