Misfit Shine: A Fitness Gadget Backed by Former Apple CEO Aims to be Different

PHOTO: With the Misfit Shine you can tap it to an iPhone to pair it.

"We thought, if Apple were going to do it, how would they do it? They would do more than just make a cool product," John Sculley, a co-founder of Misfit Wearables, says about his company's new fitness gadget, the Shine.

It's something you can imagine a lot of executives saying when talking about their company's new product, but Sculley knows a little more about Apple than the average tech executive.

He was, of course, the CEO of the company from the mid-1980s until 1993 and is famous for his break with Steve Jobs.

Since then Sculley has invested in a handful of Internet-based businesses, but he now finds himself back in the hardware and software business with a new product. Together with his partner Sonny Vu, who is the CEO of the company, Misfits Wearables is building what it believes is the most unique and desirable fitness gadget yet.

Aircraft-grade aluminum
"The main difference between the Shine and all the others is that it is the most wearable product. You can wear it anywhere. It is the only product that is all metal," Vu said. "It is something you can wear to any occasion."

Just a look at the photo of the Shine above and it's clear that it doesn't look like any of the other plastic or rubber fitness gadgets (i.e. FitBit Zip, the Jawbone Up, or the Nike FuelBand). The Shine is no bigger than a quarter in circumference and is machined out of a piece of aircraft-grade aluminum. But there's more to it. Small holes have been carved out of the metal to allow for the LED light indicators to shine through. And it's waterproof.

Sculley and Vu believe the design of the gadget will allow it to stand out in a crowded market. It was important to them to build something that could be easily concealed, yet attractive and well-built.

Just like Apple, Sculley emphasizes. "Samsung is a great device company. But they make their phones out of plastic, Apple makes them out of metal."

Tap and pair
But there's no Bluetooth inside the circular, metal device. And there's no USB port for plugging it in either. It pairs with your iPhone in a different way than the others – all you have to do is place the metal device on top of the screen and it will sync the fitness data it collects with an app on your phone.

How is that all happening? Vu wouldn't answer that. He would only say that it's a "combination of a number of technologies working together in unison." He says the company will reveal more at a later date. "Once we are able to talk more about it -- it will be more evident, a lot of it is the product itself that helps enable this technology -- the material, etc."

Left to right: Sridhar Iyengar, John Sculley, Sonny Vu

Besides whatever secret sauce is inside the Shine, it also has the sensors to track your steps as well as your cycling and swimming activity. You will be able to see the information in an app the company is working on, but also those LED indicators on the Shine itself will give you an idea of your level of activity.

You will be able to tap on the metal and it will illuminate the ring of lights. ABC News got a look at a few early prototypes of the Shine and the tapping on it was responsive. The lights on the Shine we saw hadn't been completed yet, Vu explained in the demo.

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