An iPod for Athletes

Today Nike and Apple announced a joint venture that will take the iPod to a new level as a running accessory.  The Nike+iPod Sport kit is comprised of a sensor that can be inserted into compatible Nike shoes that wirelessly transmits information about the runner’s performance to a receiver on the iPod.

By installing special software, athletes can view data on time, distance, pace, and calories on the iPod’s screen.  Audible feedback will also be available through the iPod’s headphones. The information collected can also be downloaded to a computer for further analysis.

The wireless receiver that Apple is using uses a propriatary 2.4Ghz signal, crushing the hopes of many who were hoping for Bluetooth compatibility (and wireless headphones).

The Sport kit will cost $30 USD, and will be ready to ship in approximately 60 days.  Compatible shoes will include Nike Air Zoom Moire ($100), which will be on store shelves in July.  Nike plans to expand the iPod line with the introduction of six more shoes in the fall: Air Zoom Plus, Air Max Moto, Nike Shox Turbo OH, Air Max 180, Shox Navina and Air Max 90.

One thing that the Sport Kit is missing is wireless headphones, and a heart rate monitor. No one wants to mess with annoying wires when they’re running or biking, and a lot of atheletes like to track their heart rate.  If somehow the two of these features could be incorporated in the future, I think this product would appeal to athletes even more.

I also can’t help but wonder what happens to the shoe receiver in inclement weather.  Is it encased in some kind of weather-proof material?  Or are runs in the rain and mud out of the question?  This is something Nike/iPod should address if they haven’t already.

4 Comments

  1. Dustin07Dustin0708-16-2006

    Yes I’ve seen this, very cool! But I have no idea about the inclimate weather…. a friend of mine purchased these, I’ll have to ask her!

  2. IanIan09-06-2006

    Is it compatible with ipod 30GB or just ipod nano? I looked on the nike website and it seems like it is only compatible with nano.

  3. JulieJulie09-12-2006

    I believe just the Nano……..

  4. RoanneRoanne09-22-2006

    I’ve heard of this. But, does it only apply to specific Nike shoe styles?

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