USA Today: Clever Nike+iPod Sport Kit makes running more fun

“I’m not much of a runner. But I am rather passionate about listening to music on an iPod. So, it took the wireless Nike + iPod Sport Kit I’ve been testing to push me to the starting line. The clever kit may provide the inspiration required to get you off your duff. More serious runners can use it to monitor their progress and set goals,” Edward C. Baig reports for USA Today.

“Nike + iPod records the time, distance, pace and calories burned in real time as you run (or, in my case, power walk). You can track those results on an iPod Nano and, after connecting the Nano to a computer, on the Nike+ website (nikeplus.com),” Baig reports.

“In some ways, Nike + iPod leaves you begging for more. I’d love it to monitor your pulse and heart rate. But then, I’m guessing it would cost more than $29. I also wonder if Apple might add a GPS component so you could monitor where you’re running, instead of just how long. That, too, would add to the cost — and complexity,” Baig reports.

“Also, the nikeplus.com website could be friendlier to navigate. Moreover, while it does display graphs of your runs, it would be nice to be able to type in a few notes to indicate, say, what the weather was or how you were feeling during workouts,” Baig reports.

“Still, you can establish goals through the site (such as how many times you want to run over a particular period) and set distance, speed or other challenges for up to 50 friends you invite via e-mail,” Baig reports. “I’ll have to do a lot more training before I invite anyone to compete. Having the Nike + iPod kit at least makes it more fun.”

Full review here.

Ed Baig and Jefferson Graham discuss the new product from Apple and Nike here.

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:
Time Magazine’s Gadget of the Week: Nike+iPod Sport Kit – July 20, 2006
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

12 Comments

  1. I think we should put to bed the myth once and for all that HD-based iPods can’t be used for running or exercise. Yes, the Nano is better, but I trained for and ran a half-marathon with my 4G 30GB iPod. I never once had a skip. Apple and Nike are just leaving money on the table by not providing a simple software update which would enable compatibility with the larger iPods.

  2. Get this working on the iPod Video and I take up jogging. I’ve been looking for a form of exercise that doesn’t involve me needing to pay ongoing money (gyms in london, like everything else, are HIDEOUSLY expensive). Come on Apple, us video owners want to jog as well!!!

  3. “This is biggest idea Apple has had in a while. It will spawn an entirely new surge of 3rd party products that do everything atheletes want. Monitor heart rate, add GPS info, etc.

    Actually it’s the biggest idea Philips and Nike had two years ago…

  4. Druze: “I think we should put to bed the myth once and for all that HD-based iPods can’t be used for running or exercise. Yes, the Nano is better, but I trained for and ran a half-marathon with my 4G 30GB iPod. I never once had a skip. Apple and Nike are just leaving money on the table by not providing a simple software update which would enable compatibility with the larger iPods”

    No-one is saying that iPods can’t be used for running, but there are more variables involved. Hard drives can skip if you are running with them because they have moving parts. If you haven’t had a skip, then fine, but don’t extrapolate your experience to all HD drive iPod owners.

    HD iPods use a buffer, so that if they skip, you don’t notice. If you change tracks often while you run, you are more likely to experience skipping. If you rip your music losslessly or using any bitrate higher than the 128kbps AAC default in iTunes, the amount of music in the buffer is smaller, so running with it makes it more likely that you will experience skipping.

    Apple is about trying to guarantee a good user experience with iPods. You will get this if you use an iPod whose drive doesn’t have moving parts.

  5. I’n not a runner either, but I love this kit since it is giving me a tool to get in shape and be healthier.

    The fact I can set goals for myself and ensure I am getting proper exercise is simply wonderful. I am really thankful to Apple & Nike for this product.

    Now, what I really want is a way to tie my biking to the iPod. That would be simply fantastic.

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