Apple + Nike = Exercise Nirvana


I just recently started dragging my lazy butt out of bed earlier than necessary to get into better shape. I know, I’m sacrificing my geekhood. Let me tell you, running is about my least favorite thing in the world (moreso than using a Windows PC). But today as I was going to Apple’s website for my daily dream session of ‘what would I buy?’ I saw the little Nike+Apple thing on the front page. Hmm, what’s THIS?

It seems Nike and Apple have teamed up:

Find out what happens when the leading name in sports and the leading name in digital music team up to take on your workout.

Ok, so what’s it all do? The 3 keys to the system are a pair of Nike’s soon-to-be-released Nike+ running shoes(~ $100), the Nike+iPod Sport Kit ($29), and an iPod Nano.

The Sport Kit consists of a small keyfob type object which is the sensor that goes in a special pocket in the sole of the Nike+ Shoe. Also in the Sport Pack is the wireless receiver which plugs into the Nano’s data port. The sensor transmits data about your run (speed, time, distance, etc) to the receiver, and a voice actually overlays your music, notifying you of way-points in your workout. Cool!

If you check out the demo on the Nike Plus page, it shows you sort of how this works – whether it’s a true representation, or a recreation, I’m not sure. It appears that you can even create playlists timed to your run and execute ‘boost’ music to get push yourself that little extra bit with some adrenaline-pumping tracks. Then when you get back, sync your iPod and download data from your workout, and track your exercise results over time.

Apple and Nike have really thought things out here. You can monitor your workouts, upload the data to Nike’s site if you wish, compare your results against others, and generally become a part of the running community through technology. Nike even offers – with ‘coming soon’ notes on the iTunes Music Store links – running songs to download and exercise to, as well as podcasts and stories about inspiring athletes.

This is a full fledged initiative, and I for one am biting. This sounds awesome, and I can’t wait to start using it in my own workout regimen. But what else does this suggest? I’d say the next thing we’ll see – or at least in the very near future – from the iPod is bluetooth built-in. Then the need for this receiver seems to all but go away… Wireless running sensor, wireless earbuds. Could be some very neat applications just around the corner.

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