May 24, 2006 Nike and Apple have announced a partnership designed to bring the worlds of sport and music together with the launch of innovative Nike+iPod products. The first product developed through this partnership is the Nike+iPod Sport Kit, a wireless system that allows Nike+ footwear to record time, distance, calories burned and pace with info displayed on the iPod nano screen and real-time audio feedback through headphones. The new Nike+ Air Zoom Moire is the first footwear designed to talk to the iPod and Nike plans to make its other footwear styles Nike+ ready too. It’s simple and in our opinion gives you scant info you can’t get better another way – it’s just an in-shoe sensor and a receiver that attaches to the iPod. While we think the first product is a bit lame, it’ll be interesting to see what happens when Apple, the most consistently innovative company of the last 25 years, and Nike combine technologies with the reach of both companies. With two such innovative parents, we suspect some interesting children will be spawned. Our educated guesses at what they would logically be evaluating as potential products might include new capabilities such as a heart rate monitor to make the 24 hour a day calorie counter more accurate and to enable other useful data to be monitored, GPS functionality for additional info on position and speed and so we can be notified when we’re passing points of interest and hear a podcast about them should we choose, a blood oxygenation and lactose monitor for people who run really long distances, … oh, and maybe a cool Nike cap with a little heads up display incorporated so we can watch video podcasts without headbutting a lamppost.
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