Why isn’t Nike+ Compatible with the iPhone?

Nike+, Technology 4 Comments »

Imagine the following scenario:

You’ve just finished a great run, and you listened to some good music along the way. You even paused your workout midway through so you could take a few photos of the beautiful trails, and also to speak to a friend on the phone because you were using Nike+ with your iPhone. As you hear “Workout complete” in your ear as you officially close the Nike+ workout, your iPhone sends your run data immediately to the Nike+ Web site. As you walk back to the car, you check Google Maps on your iPhone, and the Nike+ kit has tracked your exact running route and mileage.

Wishful thinking, but alas, this is not currently possible.

If you connect your Nike+ device to an iPhone at the moment, you get a very disappointing incompatibility error message. But the technology is already largely available (everything bar a true GPS system within the iPhone), and the iPhone is desperately waiting for the day Nike+ becomes a compatible device. It would make perfect sense for Apple to allow Nike+ to work on their device. After all, one of Apple’s selling points with the iPhone is that it is an all-encompassing media device — why carry around multiple gadgets when everything you need is in one unit?

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New Nike+ Device(s) Imminent?

Nike+, Technology 7 Comments »

New Nike+ Device(s) Imminent?

There has been a flurry of speculation this week (Engadget and Gizmodo both reporting the same story) regarding a possible new Nike+ device that works without the need for an iPod. Tentatively titled the “Nike+ SportsBand,” the device will negate the need for an iPod and will function instead by communication between the Nike+ chip (in or on the running shoe) and the SportsBand device. The new device, which appears to be a bracelet/watch, features a removable section that would connect to your computer after a run via a USB interface.

What the reports this week haven’t realized or reported is that this is actually an update or variation to the Nike Amp+ device that has already been released. Take a look at the prototype image below and compare against the existing Amp+ device, the interface console/button is exactly the same:

Current Nike Amp+ device New/prototype Nike+ device

My personal view is that Nike most likely always envisioned the possibility of an Apple iPod-free device way before the Apple and Nike partnership. The obfuscation of Apple from the scenario obviously maximizes potential profit for Nike. What I hope will happen now however, is that Apple and Nike will continue to work together to build upon the success of Nike+ (in the Apple and Nike collaborative sense of the word) to develop a new Nike+ device that continues to be based around the Apple iPod Nano. My wishlist of features and improvements that I would like to see in the new Apple/Nike+ device will be listed in the near future in a separate post.