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May 24, 2006

Running shoe iPod

Looks like the iPod Nano is now being configured as a wireless monitor to track your workouts.

From a story today in the WSJ, "When Nike Met iPod":

Apple Computer Inc. and Nike Inc. yesterday said they have teamed up to create a wireless system that connects Apple's iPod nano digital music player to certain Nike-compatible sneakers. Using a small sensor that's inserted into the sole of a new Nike running shoe -- the $100 Air Zoom Moire -- the system lets runners record the distance, time, pace and calories burned during each workout. Nike is also rolling out workout clothes that are made to carry iPods, and other compatible shoes will be launched later in the summer.

The is following the trend of using the must have/must carry handhelds (usually cell phones) as wireless monitors for either chronic disease or health maintenance purposes. But, in this case there will be tie-ins as the apparel mentioned above, and i-Tunes will be offering the musical workout routines of such sports luminaries as Alberto Salazar or Lance Armstrong.

The next step (all start-ups listen up), is to have the device interface with a database that will record your workouts and be able to show trends over time. Also, you could have your wireless monitor interface with your favorites treadmill or Nautilus machine.

The great thing about the Nano is that it uses flash memory instead of a hard drive, so it can take the jolts and knocks associated with vigorous exercise or dropping it on the ground. Also, there are not too many smart phones that are sweat resistant.

I'll have to talk with the folks at BodyMedia to see if they have anything in the works similar to this.

This series of photos on Flickr show Steve Jobs wearing the above mentioned running shoes. The photographer, Tien Mao, covered this press event yesterday with a great blog post.

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