“At an event in New York, Nike and Apple said they are collaborating on a series of products that bridge the gaps between sports, electronics, and entertainment. Their first jointly produced product: the Nike+iPod Sport kit, which involves an electronic sensor inserted under the inner sole of a new Nike running shoe dubbed the Moire (pronounce (MOR-ay). That sensor talks to a small wireless receiver that attaches to Apple’s iPod nano music player,” Arik Hesseldahl and Stanley Holmes report for BusinessWeek. “Nike dreamed up the idea for the product and contacted Apple to develop the technology behind it, Nike CEO Mark Parker said at the news conference: ‘A while back we asked a big question: Could we harness the power of digital technology to improve a runner’s experience?’ It turns out the answer is a smart running shoe, equipped with a small sensor that can track motion and distance and other metrics that runners find important, but the information would only be available after their run is complete, not while running. ‘We quickly realized that making a smart shoe wasn’t smart enough.’ So Parker called a friend: Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The result was the kit, which both called simply a ‘great start.’ The two companies will develop more products as part of an ongoing partnership.”
Hesseldahl and Holmes report, “The two companies are alike in design and marketing… But it took some time for both teams to find their Zen state. Some of the technology challenges were tough. The sensor embedded in the new Nike Moire running sneaker was initially too big for Nike designers and too small for Apple’s team. Other technical challenges centered on the duration of the battery power (close to 1,000 hours). Apple designers also had to wrestle with the wireless technology. ‘Wireless takes power,’ Jobs says. ‘The last thing you wanted was a wire going down your leg. It looks deceptively simple and that’s how it should be. It took a while to get it right. But there is a lot of technology there.’
How Nike+iPod works video:
“Jobs also says keeping the price at $29 for the wireless iPod adapter was another key point. ‘This thing is over 90% accurate right out of the box, which is huge,’ Jobs says. ‘Something like this would normally cost a lot more money. We priced it so everyone can afford it because we want everyone to try it and experience how cool it is.’ …Both CEOs say the experience of developing NikePlus is just the beginning of a broader strategic relationship. Neither would describe what they intend to tackle next but hinted they are only limited by imagination and good business. ‘It’s turned out to be really fun,’ Jobs says. ‘It’s fun to apply technology in an area where A, it’s never been done before, and B, everybody involved in it wants it for themselves. That’s always a good sign. Everybody involved in this says, ‘This is so cool,’ It’s great to work on things like this.’ Says Parker: ‘The connection between the two different products and the potential it creates is huge.’”
Much more in the full article here.
• Introducing the super-fast, blogging, podcasting, do-everything-out-of-the-box MacBook. Starting at just $1099
• Get the new iMac with Intel Core Duo for as low as $31 A MONTH with Free shipping!
• Get the MacBook Pro with Intel Core Duo for as low as $47 A MONTH with Free Shipping!
• Apple’s new Mac mini. Intel Core, up to 4 times faster. Starting at just $599. Free shipping.
• iPod. 15,000 songs. 25,000 photos. 150 hours of video. The new iPod. 30GB and 60GB models start at just $299. Free shipping.
• Connect iPod to your television set with the iPod AV Cable. Just $19.
• iPod Radio Remote. Listen to FM radio on your iPod and control everything with a convenient wired remote. Just $49.
Nike+iPod Sport Kit sensor’s battery will outlast the shoes – May 24, 2006
Analyst: Nike+Apple = iPod as a platform – May 23, 2006
Apple and Nike shares rise folowing Nike+iPod announcement – May 23, 2006
Nike and Apple team up to launch Nike+iPod, footwear that talks to your iPod – May 23, 2006