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NIKE+iPOD

15th July, 2006

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Nike+iPod Sports Kit
First Impressions
By Rob Hancox

Picked up the new Nike+iPod I decided to follow forum become self explanatory and
Sports Kit this morning from the members advice and sew the allow you to tailor a workout
Trafford Centre for the paltry sensor in the lining of the tracking regime based on the
sum of £19. The chap at the tongue of my running shoe. It category selected.
Apple Store was most helpful would be a neat idea if someone
but quizzed me when asked if I would create a little pouch for it For my first run I selected a
had a pair of Nike+ training to sit in and be strapped to the female voice, changed the
shoes. Since my training shoes of laces so that you can transfer itdefault units from kilometres to
choice are New Balance from shoe to shoe. miles and preselected my “Power
naturally I wouldn’t be getting a Song” more of which later.
pair of Nikes. My feet have been The whole assembly of When the workout begins the
tuned and accustomed to New components is simplicity itself. voice prompt asks you to start
Balance why change? With the sensor installed you walking to activate the sensor.
simply plug the receiver unit in This is accomplished very
The little sensor is about the the bottom of your iPod Nano (it quickly and when you’re ready
size of a £1 coin (20mm x doesn’t work with any other iPod to start your runner proper you
15mm x 3mm deep) and is by the way), a Nike+iPod option press the centre button and
designed to fit under the inner is added to the menu system and you’re off. A really nice feature
sole of a Nike+ trainer. Armed you’re ready to go. The menu is the auto-ducking of the music
with a suitably sharp knife there offers you a list of selections; as the voice prompt kicks in.
is no reason I can see that you Basic, Time, Distance, Calories, Pressing the centre button at any
can’t do this mod to any trainer. Settings, History. These options time gives you a very pleasant

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vocal readout of your running
status, ie. 18 minutes, 23. 2.28
miles completed, your current
pace is 7 mins 20. and then the
music volume increases
automatically. Very well
polished.

When you return to your
computer you simply plug the
unit in to sync with your Mac/
PC in the usual way. However,
the slight twist that adds the
cream to the top of the cake is
the way in which the “run” data
is transferred to the Nikeplus view some of the screen shots Black&Decker garden shear
website. If you’ve already from my Nikeplus account. device to rack up a fantastic
created a Nikeplus account the distance in no time at all!!.
iTunes dialog will prompt you You’re offered the straight As for accuracy of the
for your Nikeplus user identity forward historical view of your sensor itself I was quite
and password and if you’d like “Runs” and can view these as impressed though I’ve not yet
to upload your data immediately individual runs, runs by distance, ‘calibrated’ my device. This is
or at a later time. Options are by time, by week, month and so done by running and walking a
also available to create an on. set distance though Nike say that
account if you’ve not already got You can set targets and out of the box the unit will be
one. “Goals” for your own personal 90% accurate and to be fair I
Future syncs are handled achievements. You can “invite” would say that from the first runs
much quicker of course without friends to “Challenges”. For I’ve done I would say that mine
excessive prompts. example, there is a route I and is about 95% and good enough
The Nikeplus site is some neighbours run regularly for me. This prompted me to
wonderfully created and uses called the Croft Block and my think what would happen if I
clever use of Flash scripts to add “challenge” to my neighbours is ran with a group of friends that
visual appeal but also simplicity. to run this 10 times. The first to were in possession of a Nike
There are some nice “Apple” complete is the winner. Simply +iPod unit. Well, Nike+Apple
touches such as “reflections” and adding their email address to the have sussed this out too since the
rounded edged tabs and so forth. list, which you can add/delete at sensor is the unique element and
On this website they’ve any time during the challenge you train the receiver at the
offered the best of the features a sends an email prompting them bottom of the iPod to only pick
lone runner or even a group of to set up a Nikeplus account up any trained sensor. But this is
runners would want from a (makes them consider buying all the cool bit. The iPod can only
‘training’ and monitoring the Nike+iPod stuff too - nice record from one sensor at a time,
perspective and created a site marketing) and they ‘confirm’ to but you can train any number
that offers a community of tools take on the (don’t know what the limit is) of
challenge and sensors to the iPod and this info
you’re off. Progress will be recorded and stored
is tracked via the separately for when you sync.
website. Neat. The receiver will also store the
Another nice ‘sensors’ PowerSong, calibration
community feature and user settings. Neat.
is the “How am I And finally onto that Power
doing compared to Song feature, and belive me this
the rest of the is a nice functional and real
World?”. feature. Your Power Song is
Currently I am preselected in your user settings,
232nd but I’m 3rd this is the tune that you would
in the UK !! It feel gives you that motivational
makes me wonder spurt, normally towards the end
how “hackable” of your 6 or 8 miler. When
this whole idea is you’re ready to “go for it” you
though since all simply press and hold for a
that are a boon. Click here to
you would need to do is put the second the centre button, a
sensor on the end of a simply audibly beep confirms

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that the Power Song is about to
play and the song starts, the
adrenalen surges into your legs
and the speed piles on. The
graphs on the Nikeplus site
indicate when you selected your
Power Song and gives you a
visual clue what happens to your
performance. All very neat and
simple.

For those runners were
money is no object then their
Garmin GPS tracking unit will
not be thrown away just yet, but
for the weekend runner and
serious marathoner like myself
this device will be a boon to the
lonely hours pounding the
streets and offer up a new world
of targets way over and above
my expectations for £19. A
most worthy contender for
“Product of the Year” award in
my humble view.

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