It’s great that the industry is finally getting on board with the Apple+Nike tech partnership, and starting to work the technology into gym equipment. I’ve been using the Nike+ situation since day one, and it’s motivating to have as much data as possible available to me when I run.. both at the gym, and out on the street.
One thing I would like to see them start integrating is a heartrate monitor. Currently when I run, I use the Nike+ kit, with a Marware pouch to hold the transmitter on my Saucony shoes, and a slightly older Nike heart rate monitor strap. Wearing the heartrate monitor is useful, because it allows me to guage how hard I’m working. Also, with some of these newer iPod and usb enabled Life Fitness treadmills at the gym, they will automatically adjust the incline and speed to keep my HR in check. Cool. It would be even better, though, if the Nike+ reciever attached to my iPod could listen to my heart rate monitor strap, and give me not only info on my speed, but also heart rate info along side it. I think being able to compare those two metrics would give me some interesting training insite.
Integration of incline data would really boost the usefulness of the system. It’s already able to be recorded by the treadmill, so why not add it to the tracked information for Nike+? Speed+HR+Incline would be killer. Pushing it one farther, how about using the Google Maps integration on the Nike+ site to extract terrain elevation data, make an elevation profile for any particular run, and sync that up along side all the other run data? With Google adding more and more terrain data to it’s maps, this could become possible very soon.
What about official course pace data integration? I wore my Nike+ kit during the most recent 2007 NYC Marathon, and it was great to be able to see my splits throughout the race. What would be even more valuable, though, would be if i could get a chart of the pacesetters splits, and then compare myself to that – I’d be able to see where i was slacking, and where i was pushing it unnecessarily. Combine that with overlays of the course terrain, speed and heart rate, and you’d had a complete view of how things went.
Update*** Just heard that Samsung and Adidas are pairing up to compete with Nike+Apple. Pshaw, yeah, right…. not even going to stand a chance. How can Nike+Apple beat this? Simple – enable the Nike+ kit on the iPhone. Plus, with the new iPhone SDK freshly out of the gates, imagine the possibilities of developers being able to write their iPhone sports apps which utilize real-time feedback from the Nike+ shoe sensor, iPhone’s built-in accelerometer, light meter, cell tower-based GPS, wifi localization, and cellular data connection. Throw in a 3G iPhone with true GPS and broadband data in June, and you can start to see the possibilities. “Tune Your Run”? For now maybe. but next up will be “Broadcast Your Run”
Update 2008-09-16 – Isn’t is kind of scary that they may begin building in RFID chips into clothing, so you can’t use products such as Nike+ with non-approved garmets? Wearing that Nike+ sensor in a pouch on your shoelaces, like I do, may become a thing of the past. Now they can even control your wardrobe….check out this post, with patent diagrams.