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Nike patent explores possible Nike + iPod system additions

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Friday, April 25, 2008
News Categories: iPod Accessories


A recently published Nike patent application has revealed several possible new functions and potential hardware expansions of the current Nike + iPod Sport Kit system. The application, number 20080096726, is titled “Athletic Performance Sensing and/or Tracking Systems and Methods,” and describes an athletic performance control system with an interface that allows selection of desired workout intensity, as well as a way to offer a revised or modified workout routine based on the user’s selections. An iPod or iPhone could potentially serve as the control system, as the iPod is specifically mentioned in several points in the application as a possible control device. Nike has also previously stated that it plans to expand Nike+ to include the iPhone and iPod touch.

Components in the new system could include sensors to monitor a markedly increased number of physical or physiological characteristics during the workout, including speed, distance, and time information, which could be then compared against the media content playing during the workout or routine. For instance, the system would be able to know if a user sped up or slowed down in response to a certain song being played, and could offer the user a choice of adding or removing the song from the workout routine playlist. The patent goes on to describe many sensors differing from the current Nike + iPod Sport Kit, with the potential for the collection of data for pulse rate, body temperature, blood pressure, hydration levels, ambient temperature, heart rate, EKG data, humidity, barometric pressure, sole compression, air intake and volume, air expel rate and volume, EEG data, blood gas content, and more.

While the current Nike + iPod system is only meant for monitoring performance metrics while running or jogging, the system described in the patent could potentially be used for other athletic activities, such as using training machines such as stair climbers and elliptical machines, team-based and individual sports, yoga, martial arts, and more. The patent also describes a rewards system for the achievement of fitness or athletic goals, one of the many ways it parallels previous Apple patent filings, which described a digital fitness program for iTunes and touchscreen digital media devices. As with all patent filings, however, this one does not necessarily represent any future product release, and may describe features broader than actual products solely to protect them against competitors. [via MacNN]


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Apparently this system only works on Aliens. What the H3ll is that thing that is running in the diagram?!!! If it’s not an Alien, then it’s proof-positive that electromagnetic current will mutate your head.

Posted by Warren Piece on April 27, 2008 at 5:42 PM (PDT)


The first thing Nike should do is improve the damn cadence monitoring in the shoe fob.  I ran 10 miles yesterday, and by the end the Nikeplus said I had ran 10.67 miles.  This is really annoying when you’re running a race like a half-marathon, and the system says “Congratulatioons, you’ve reached your goal of 13.1 miles!” and you’re still a mile away from the finish

I sidelined my Garmin Forerunner to use the Nikeplus because i can track my treadmill runs with the Np also, but at least the Forerunner was accurate.  If they could incorporate similar gps functionality so the Np wasn’t measuring step cadence, that would be ideal.

Posted by Rocknrope on April 28, 2008 at 1:21 PM (PDT)

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