Tech Toy of the Month: Nike + iPod
This interesting tech toy has been out for quite a while, but many people have never heard of it. It is fairly unique in the world of tech toys, in that it combines “real” exercise and technology (when I say “real” exercise I mean not the kind of exercise you get from playing video games – not that there’s anything wrong with that). Basically, the Nike + iPod consists of a small wireless device that fits in your shoe and an adapter that you connect to your iPod Nano. Nike makes a shoe that has a special “pocket” to fit the wireless device into, but there are ways to make other shoes work as well. When you go on a run with the wireless device in your shoe and the adapter connected to your iPod Nano, the Nano is able to keep track of many statistics, such as the time you’ve been running, the distance you’ve run, calories you’ve burned, or the current pace you’re on.
By itself, those features are can very useful. However, the integration features of Nike + iPod make things very interesting. You can sync your workout information with iTunes on your Mac or PC, which then in turn can sync with a site called Nikeplus.com. Using Nikeplus.com, you can do things such as compare stats of all your workouts, set goals, and see your personal bests. Finally, if you are so inclined, you can choose to share your stats with others, or see the stats that others have shared. You can then set up competitions with other people, which is an interesting way to push you to work out harder. There are also some other features such as combining custom music for your run, which you can read about at http://www.apple.com/ipod/nike/.
The Nike + iPod is a very interesting combination of technologies that create a very unique product and service. I think this is an example of the first of a new wave of products that we’ll likely see be introduced over the next several years. The ability to easily capture, track, and analyze all kinds of personal data will likely change our lives in ways that we haven’t even begun to understand yet. If you are a runner, I suggest you check out the Nike + iPod. At only $29.00, you could totally transform the way you keep track of your exercise.
Contact me if you have any questions regarding this technology or any other!