Shine, the sleek fitness wearable, launches in Apple stores

Startup Misfit has launched its Shine activity wearable — a device for people tired of fugly fitness trackers — in Apple stores in the U.S., Canada, Japan and Hong Kong. Next month the quarter-sized Shine will also be available in Apple stores in Europe and Australia.

The move is a big step for the year-and-a-half-old venture-backed startup, which just started shipping its first Shines to its first customers. Misfit funded its original wave of Shines through an Indiegogo campaign that raised over $845K.

The Shine in the sports watch accessory

The Shine in the sports watch accessory

I did an in-depth review of the Shine last month, and spent a weekend wearing the matte-aluminum, thumb-print-sized device to track my activities. I loved the design and UI of the gadget and the iPhone app. My biggest complaint was that I wanted the tapping interface to be more reactive.

That the device will first be sold in Apple stores shouldn’t necessarily come as a surprise. Apple (s AAPL) has clearly had a strong direct and indirect influence on the company.

Misfit Shine

Misfit was founded on the day that Steve Jobs died, and the name “Misfit” is a tribute to Jobs and Apple’s ads to think differently. On top of that, one of the company’s co-founders is Apple’s former CEO John Sculley (who was instrumental in pushing Jobs out in the 80s).

Misfit has emerged at the intersection of a few key trends in 2013 that are shaping wearable computing, data, and design, including:

  • the emergence of next-generation wearables that have a more mainstream appeal
  • the creation of the lean hardware movement that is using crowd funding to experiment
  • the collection of data that uses narrative and emotion to create an impact
  • the introduction of a new type of user interface, which Misfit CEO Sonny Vu has coined as “the glanceable UI”

We’ll be highlighting how crowdfunding is influencing design, as well as the future of wearables and connected hardware, at our RoadMap conference on November 5 and 6 in San Francisco. Indiegogo founder Danae Ringelmann will be speaking, as will Ammunition Group Partner Robert Brunner, who designed the Beats by Dre headphones, Square co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey, and Nest CEO (and iPhone designer) Tony Fadell.