Mossberg and Boehret give Nike+iPod Sport Kit two thumbs up

“Now, your iPod can do more than just play the soundtrack to your run — it can become your virtual running coach. Apple Computer Inc. has teamed up with Nike Inc., the sports-shoe titan, to create a system whereby the iPod can measure your progress as you run or walk, report it to you orally through your earbuds, and post it to a Web site that tracks your workouts over time. The system even allows you to designate a ‘PowerSong,’ an especially motivating tune from your music collection that can be summoned at the touch of a button when you need an extra burst of inspiration,” Walter S. Mossberg and Katherine Boehret report for The Wall Street Journal. “This new product from the two iconic brands is called the Nike + iPod Sport Kit. While it’s obviously a move to sell more iPods and Nike shoes, we found it worked well and enhanced our exercise experience.”

“While the kit’s $29 price tag is slight, you also must factor in the price of Apple’s iPod Nano — ranging from $149 to $249 — because the kit’s receiver won’t work with competing brands of players, or with other iPod models. And the special Nike+ shoes, available in several styles, average about a hundred bucks a pair. So the minimum total cost for a Nike + iPod Sport Kit is $278,” Mossberg and Boehret report. “If you want to spend less, or just keep using your favorite shoes, you can rig up the sensor to work with other running shoes — either regular Nikes or competing brands — though not without some difficulty.”

“The shoe’s sensor is designed to measure how long your foot is on the ground, and correlates that with your pace, therefore eliminating the need to manually enter your stride. If you’d like to be as precise as possible, you can go through a quick calibration process, but it isn’t necessary in most cases,” Mossberg and Boehret report. “The system allows one iPod to be used with multiple Nike + iPod Sport Kits, so a family can share an iPod. The proprietary wireless technology used by the system is designed so that each receiver stays linked to just one sensor at a time. Apple says this pairing scheme can handle up to 256 runners in a 10-meter circle without getting signals crossed.”

Mossberg and Boehret report, “We hope this product can improve in the future to do other things like distinguishing walks from runs, automatically triggering your PowerSong when you slow down or incorporating heart-rate monitoring. But the Nike + iPod Sport Kit is a great first effort. It’s easy to understand, and its audible encouragement is helpful.”

Full article here.

Lance Armstrong and the Nike+iPod Sport Kit:

Direct link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrcDyxpDY9s

How Nike+iPod works video:

Direct link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVDEXzxZWQw

The Nike+iPod Sport Kit costs US$29 and contains:
• wireless sensor for Nike+ shoes
• Wireless receiver for iPod nano
• Printed documentation

More information about the Nike+iPod Sport Kit can be found here.

Related articles:
PC Magazine review gives ‘Nike+iPod Sport Kit’ 4.5 out of 5 stars – July 18, 2006
Using Apple’s iPod Sport Kit with non-Nike shoes – July 17, 2006
Apple’s Nike+iPod Sport Kit officially released today (link to High-res photos) – July 13, 2006
Apple releases iTunes 6.0.5 with Nike+iPod Sport Kit sync features – June 29, 2006
Nike+iPod Sport Kit now available for order at Apple Store – June 13, 2006
Dvorak thinks iPod+Nike Sport Kit is ‘nutty’ – May 24, 2006
The making of Apple iPod+Nike Sport Kit and there’s more to come – May 24, 2006
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

5 Comments

  1. If you are a Wall Street Journal subscriber, you can email copies of online stories to family, friends and colleagues. As I was emailing a story to my wife, I discovered that the Mossberg Nike+iPod story was the “most emailed” story of the day, besting such all-time favorite topics as “How much should you pay your financial advisor?”

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