Here’s Why Apple Is Scouting for Pro Athletes

Source: Michael Wa (ye-wa) / Flickr

Source: Michael Wa (ye-wa) / Flickr

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is recruiting some of the world’s most famous professional athletes, but it’s not to boost the roster of the company softball team. According to an unnamed source cited by 9to5Mac, Apple is seeking out athletes in order to test the fitness-tracking capabilities of its rumored iWatch device. The iWatch testing program reportedly involves prominent athletes from the NBA, NHL, and MLB; including Los Angeles Lakers basketball player Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Kings right winger Dustin Brown, and an unnamed player from the Boston Red Sox.

As noted by 9to5Mac, Kobe Bryant was spotted on Apple’s Cupertino campus last month, where he supposedly met with head designer Jony Ive. However, not surprisingly, the participants in the iWatch testing program are unable to confirm their involvement due to non-disclosure agreements. While these athletes were supposedly recruited to test the iWatch’s capabilities, it seems natural that many of these partnerships might also later evolve into endorsement deals for Apple’s wearable tech device.

According to reports from multiple media outlets, the iWatch will feature various fitness-tracking and health-monitoring sensors that will measure calorie consumption, blood sugar levels, oxygen saturation, sleep activity, and many other data points. A recent report from The Wall Street Journal indicated that Apple is planning on releasing multiple versions of the iWatch with different screen sizes, including at least one model that will be packed with over ten types of biometric sensors. Another report from Reuters predicted that one of the models will have a slightly rectangular 2.5-inch screen. Sources cited by Japan’s Nikkei reported that the iWatch’s display would feature a curved organic light-emitting diode (OLED) touchscreen, while research done by PTT Research analyst Matt Margolis suggested that Apple might protect the display with a sapphire glass covering.