Nike and Apple have teamed up to launch a new line of Nike+iPod products. The two companies today announced the first product developed through the partnership—the Nike+iPod Sport Kit, a wireless system that allows Nike+ footwear to connect to an iPod nano to store information on time, distance, calories burned and pace. The kit provides real-time audible feedback through headphones, and includes an in-shoe sensor and a small receiver that attaches to the dock connector of the iPod. The new Nike+ Air Zoom Moire is the first footwear designed to work with the kit. The Nike+iPod Sport Kit will be available “within 60 days” for a retail price of $29.
Nike plans to make several of its current footwear styles Nike+ ready, and said that other specially designed Nike apparel, including jackets, tops, shorts and an iPod nano armband, will be offered to “bring together the Nike+iPod experience with waterproof pockets that accommodate iPod nano and are designed to make it easy to operate while staying tuned to your music during an active workout.” In addition, Apple said it will soon add a new Nike Sport Music section on the iTunes Music Store.
The Nike+iPod Sport Kit will use iTunes 6.0.5 (not yet released) to sync the workout data with your computer and a global database. “After a workout, simply connect iPod nano to a Mac or PC and with the help of iTunes automatically sync and store workout data in a customized workout log on nikeplus.com,” the companies said. “Nikeplus.com offers personal service that helps maximize the Nike+iPod experience. You can log workout data, view and evaluate personal training goals, and review distance, time, pace and calories burned all through a colorful, dynamic and easy to use interface.” You can also challenge “anyone, anywhere” to a virtual race.
Nike CEO Mark Parker and Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the Nike+iPod effort at an event in New York attended by seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong and marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe.
“Nike+iPod is a partnership between two iconic, global brands with a shared passion for creating meaningful consumer product experiences through design and innovation,” Parker said. “This is the first result, and Nike+iPod will change the way people run. Nike+iPod creates a better running experience. We see many more such Nike+ innovations in the future.”
“We’re working with Nike to take music and sport to a new level,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “The result is like having a personal coach or training partner motivating you every step of your workout.”
Armstrong, who is preparing for his first NY Marathon, said, “If you can incorporate time, distance and calories burned together and make it function for both the fitness runner and the high level athlete, it will take working out to a whole other level.”
“I definitely use music both ways,” Radcliffe said. “I listen to faster music if I am doing a workout in the gym to just get the best out of myself, but I also use it to help me relax in the buildup to a big race.”