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Nike + iPod: TLFAA

There hasn't been nearly as much buzz about Playlist: the new Nike+iPod Sport Kit as there normally is with the rollout of a new Apple thingamabooble. My gut feeling is that this is due largely to the sedentary lifestyle that all too often is a characteristic of those of us in the tech community. Or it could just be because at it's heart, the Sports Kit is really just yet another iPod accessory.

But I'm excited about it, even though I'm not a runner.

What I'm really excited about is the wireless transmission system, tied to iPod data collection. Though today it's just for running and walking, and tied to a pair of Nike running shoes, there's no reason the same technology couldn't incorperate other gadgets. First up: hiking boots. Next? Bike computers. HRMs. Altimeters. Even GPS devices. There are all sorts of possiblities that are opened up by having your iPod act as, essentially, a wireless data receiver. And they aren't even limited to sports.

Yet all of the above are clearly areas Nike can exploit. Unless they blow it (and they might have, I haven't seen the interface) Nike can do for portable sports data what the iPod did for portable music players. And training, today, is purely data-driven. Wanna be like Lance? You need data.

Also, having used one of those Nike / Philips MP3 players in the past, this was a good move for the Oregonian Odysseus. The iPod nano is the best sports player I've tried by a wide margin--and I've tried a lot of sports players. And the genius part is, not only does it boost Nike's accessory sales, but it's going to drive shoe sales as well. I expect to start seeing a lot more swoops in the Park within the next 60 days.

I also think this is exciting news. But what if there was a standard that let all gadgets that collect data when training talk to each other: GPS, pedometers, iPods, treadmills, altitude meters, equipment on the gym. Even game consoles and computers.

See my thoughts on this on my site:




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  • hi, i'm mat honan, a writer in san francisco, california.
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