Apple Computer Nike + iPod Sport Kit and Sensor | iLounge

Reviews

61

All reviews of this system has been very positive, however, personally I am going to wait for a bit to see if any improvements are made to the system. My suggested improvements are:

- Make the sensor battery replaceable when it dies
- A way to measure your heart rate before, during and for a little while after your run as to track cardiovascular fitness level

Having said that, it looks mighty appealing...

Posted by iKersh on July 21, 2006 at 3:24 PM (PDT)

62

Kari,

Like all accelerometers I would expect it to suffer from some innacuracy either running on hills, or running on a surface that is softer or herder than the one you calibrated it on.

I don't know if the differences in running up and down hills would integrate each other out, but it is certainly tru that if you calibrate an accelerometer on a hard usrface such as road and then run a distance on grass or softer trail, you will get quite different distances measured for the same mileage run.

Like another poster commented, I am amazed at the low cost of the accelerometer. I know other systems have to include a logging device which the iPod provides, but still the cost is low. Perhaps Nike are absorbing some of the cost as they think that while the market might be sensitive to the cost of iPod add-ons it will more than make it up in sales of the Nike+ shoe sales which consumers may be more willing to spend $100 on?

Posted by VARunner on July 21, 2006 at 3:48 PM (PDT)

63

I believe the decision to only support the nano was a wise one. The hard-drive-based iPods wouldn't last too long if they tagged along on runs (2.5" and smaller HDs fail like crazy because they're moved around a lot more than their 3.5" siblings, especially while they're on). Plus, the HD-based iPods are larger and heavier, so they're not as well-suited to carrying around while exercising. But I believe the most serious reason for not supporting HD-based iPods is the first one: hard drive failure rates would skyrocket. For that reason, I don't think Apple will ever support a device such as this on anything but a flash-based iPod.

Posted by blufire on July 21, 2006 at 10:00 PM (PDT)

64

Got my sport kit today - let me preface this by stating that I've been running on and off for many years and it's been about 1.5 years since I've run. I have been walking in that time period (we have a dog and we walk almost every day.

I proceeded to hack my old New Balance 715's that I've not been wearing and are about 1/2 way shot. I have a couple other pairs of running (mainly Nike) shoes, so the wife wouldn't let me buy the Nano + Sport Kit + Shoes until I retire a couple pairs. smile

So, I hacked into the insoles with a utility knife and dug a spot for the sensor roughly where it sits in the Nike shoes. Cut and then made it smooth and it sits a little but under the bottom of the shoe. Didn't feel it at all until the end of the run, but I think that may have been due to me shifting the insole - where I felt a little pressure was not where the sensor was.

So, I grabbed the dog and we went for a very slow start back to running..... Ended up doing a 15 minute mile with running and walking for 30 mins. Slow, I know, but at least I'm out there. The lady's voice was very good announcing my progress (and she sounds sort of hot! smile

Got home and when I ended my workout about 2 minutes after the 30 minute mark, I took off my shoes, grabbed a glass of water and my car keys and went to drive the route. Driving is not the most accurate as you are not going the exact route you did - sidewalks, turns, etc, but it's close. Drove the whole thing and the car registered 2.0 miles. The Nike sensor registered 2.06. As close to perfect as I can get. Much better than when i tried to fine tune my previous pedometer.

Uploaded to the Nike site and that was painless Set a goal for myself to get to 13 minutes/mile over the next 15 runs (3 weeks).

Needless to say, I give this thing an A++++. I can run in Nikes, so my next shoes will be the Nike Plus shoes - either the Shox or the Air Max 180. I love the design of the Moire, but at 260, I'll probably kill them (or they'll kill me) way too quickly.

If you're on the fence, it's a great running tool!

Posted by itguy05 on July 24, 2006 at 7:06 PM (PDT)

65

i'm not sure if this has been mentioned as a cheap and easy way to use the sensor with non-nike shoes, but i cut the finger off of a latex glove and created a nice waterproof pouch out of it. also, because it's rubbery, the sensor doesn't slide around at all when i wear it under my shoelaces. just an idea.

oh, andi can't believe they're only charging 29 bucks for this. i would easily pay double.

Posted by johnblack on July 26, 2006 at 12:10 AM (PDT)

66

Another ipod +nike shoe hack... Cut the tip off of an old glove(golf/baseball) and insert the transmitter into the cut off tip (or buy a pair of gardners gloves from Lowe's/Home Depot- .99). Punch a hole in the top, put the glove tip/transmitter under the laces and thread the laces through the hole. Waterproof? put the transmitter in a rubber or surgical glove tip first.

Posted by dbarr on July 30, 2006 at 5:59 PM (PDT)

67

Check on eBay under Sensor Pouch for Nike +. There is a cool, cheap pouch for sale there. It works great!

Posted by alcubbies on August 1, 2006 at 10:52 AM (PDT)

68

Having just completed a my first run using a pair of Nike Air Zoom Plus shoes coupled with the Nike + iPod Sport Kit, my preliminary impression of this product is favorable.

I've been a casual runner for 11+ years; knowing my pace based on running around a standard 400m track, I am impressed with the accelerometer's relative accuracy compared to my own computations. I would say that the Kit's accuracy was approx. ±0.12 miles from my own calculations after a 4.00 mile run. Please note that I did NOT perform the initial calibration (based on speed, distance, and weight) that can be executed on the iPod.

My qualms at this time are minor:

1. Voice feedback is prominently louder than the volume level at which I play my music.

2. Once a playlist is commissioned for a workout, one cannot browse through the selected playlist to play a specific song.

3. Battery life: After 1.5 hours of continuous usage (both music playback and workout functions), I noticed battery life decreased at least 15% more.

I can already predict that I will find the Kit an indispensible training tool for my running.

Posted by erayser in Los Angeles, CA on August 10, 2006 at 1:17 AM (PDT)

69

I have a comment about this statement :: "Of these, we consider the last issue to be the most serious because it is the least surmountable, and an unpleasant way to reward people who shelled out $300 or more for full-sized iPods." Runners do NOT run with a full-sized iPod. The first reason is because it is heavy and bulky but the second is more important.

It has a spinning hard-drive that will SKIP (unlike the flash nano) if you bounce around very much. The full-size iPod has a feature that will protect against skipping for up to 30 mins - but if you run longer than 30 mins, you're out of luck. So no serious runner would be running around with a full-sized iPod.

I learned this buy buying a full-sized iPod and trying to run my marathon-training runs with it. It didn't even make it through my first run!

Posted by Polka_Girl on August 17, 2006 at 12:07 PM (PDT)

70

Has anyone reported cross-talk or interference between the Nike iPod transmitter and a heart-rate monitor? I have only used my Nike iPod system twice (after updating iPod software, calibrating, etc.), and both times the Nike iPod had a hard time finding my pace, recording mileage and finding the sensor. Both times I was wearing my heart-rate monitor as well. Next step is - of course - run with Nike iPod without the heart-rate monitor, but just curious as to if others have come across transmitting problems in general?

Posted by Richelle on August 31, 2006 at 2:12 PM (PDT)

71

As a frequent rain-runner was hoping someone could tell me whether or not a waterproof armband or case is available with the nano and also whether the nike sensor is waterproof (doubt it).

Posted by JSteeza on September 11, 2006 at 9:33 AM (PDT)

72

I just bought the kit 2 days ago along with the sneakers and a nano--a little much I think--but i HAD to have this thing. I am sad to find out that i could have rigged something up in my asics, but i actually like the nike + sneakers i bought better. i love how this whole set up works--it'as very accurate and the nike+ workouts you can download are great! The only qualm i have is that there is very little selection in the nike+ sneakers. i am sure this will change, but it was kind of frustrating searching for the special sneakers. I found the best selection at lady footlocker. This kit kicks ###!!!!

Posted by bdette77 on September 25, 2006 at 10:29 PM (PDT)

73

I love this thing and yes, you can get it to work with other running shoes. I run in a women's asics gel kayano and it was dead on accurate. I had stuffed in the laces of my shoe initially but it didn't look secure enough so I slipped it off to the outside of the shoe in between the upper and the tounge of the shoe (I managed to find a comfy spot that didn't allow it to slip all the way into the shoe). I really like the fact that you can upload the workouts and keep track of what you have done as well as any personal records. The power song feature is a pretty cool motivational feature. Even better. Nike (as of the time of this writting) allows you to log your miles in support of charitable causes. For instance Nike will donate $1 for every mile logged to the Lance Armstrong Foundation from now (it started a while ago) until the day of the New York city marathon. There are a couple of other causes it is supporting right now as well but as a person who really doesn't love to run this is enough to get me out a little more regularly and the price was right. Too bad I can't say the same for the clothing and shoe line that supports this. The shoe line also doesn't provide enough options for runners. It seems like all of the Nike+ shoes are for neutral runners but I was told by a Nike rep that there will be more shoes being made compatible. The clothing and armband cover the screen which can be problematic when trying to use the nike+ feature on your ipod.

Posted by fink369 on October 23, 2006 at 1:22 PM (PDT)

74

When the battery if the sensor is dead past 1000 ours of usage what can we do? Put this thing out to trash and buy a new one?

Posted by FoRGeT on October 24, 2006 at 7:04 AM (PDT)

75

Has anyone discovered why Nike made the armband where you cannot view the display?

Posted by run1walk1 on October 24, 2006 at 7:33 AM (PDT)

76

Thanks everybody.
I wonder if someone tried the kit within rollerblades or something like that..
as I'm not a runner but I prefer to skate, I think to use the kit but dunno if it'll work..

Posted by Blindsamurai on October 25, 2006 at 9:40 AM (PDT)

77

I hope ilounge will do a special case category for Nike+Ipod compatible cases and arm bands.

They tend to be hard to find. Wish it was in a simple easy to use directory.

Posted by ironchef on November 27, 2006 at 12:02 AM (PDT)

78

Read many of the reviews of the Nike sensor and decided I would add my thoughts after 2 months of use.

1) Many people comment about the lack of a replaceable battery. People forget this is a sealed unit designed to be used in various environments. Having consumers replace batteries in sealed units is a recipe for disaster. Think of it this way. Imagine that the battery costs $29 to be replaced and you get a new adapter clip. Does that make you feel better now?

2) Lots of good 3rd party pouches, holders etc for those of us not willing to part with our favorite running shoe. I recommend the Runaway available at http://www.switcheasy.com. Costs about $8.00 and has a molded case that easily lets you turn the battery on or off on the sensor. It clips onto your shoe laces and is firmly held in place.

3) Unfortunately I have yet to find a good holder for my ipod nano when using the sensor. Since the adapter plugs into the port on the bottom of the nano, I can't use the Apple lanyard kit to hold the nano since the lanyard kit uses the same port! Someone needs to definitely create some type of pass-thru adapter. Also remember that to touch the dial pad you need skin contact. Cold weather running means a)running gloves and b)layers of running gear so any type of armband is worthless. Again some room for improvement in this department. Can anyone say remote control?

Otherwise an excellent product. Works as advertised and then some!

Posted by DieselMaxMan on December 12, 2006 at 10:53 AM (PDT)

79

Just got my sport kit and love it, very accurate in my tests and great community features. There is no reason to buy new shoes, I posted a list of some cheap commercial alternatives at my site.

iWorkoutNow.com

Lots of great options now!

Posted by iWorkOutNow.com on January 16, 2007 at 1:28 PM (PDT)

80

The sensor does not seem to get enough stimulation to register movement/gait/distance when I use a Nordic Track for an indoor workout. Are there any fixes or known solutions?

Posted by DiLao on March 26, 2007 at 1:28 PM (PDT)

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