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Apple and Nike Team up for iPod Shoe Interface 300

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the thousands-of-pasty-white-geeks-cry-out-in-terror dept.
lyonsden writes "Apple and Nike are teaming up to provide runners a system to integrate their shoes and their iPod. A $30 antenna will connect an iPod nano with special shoes to provide pedometer functions."
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Apple and Nike Team up for iPod Shoe Interface

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  • Price too low (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Captain Perspicuous (899892) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @05:14PM (#15389733)
    A supersmall step sensor for your shoe with wireless transmitter, a wireless receiver, iPod integration, timer, text-to-speach interface, "booster song with 1 keypress", recording all your trips and comparing them over the internet, and Apple and Nike behind it - I was expecting that gear to cost at least $50 to $80, and I'm pretty sure the people that are interested would have paid that amount without thinking about it - but only $29? That is one seriously low price. Wow, what happened, are they subsidizing this one or something?

    And if they do, how do they make sure we are buying nike shoes? That step counter can be taped to any shoe, can't it?
  • no way! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by basic0 (182925) <{ac.oohay} {ta} {wolloccmm}> on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @05:16PM (#15389748)
    Corporations like Apple and Nike promoting their brands through a synergystic crossover product? Get out of here! Next thing you'll tell me that they're going to get professional athletes and rock stars to promote this thing.
  • Re:Nike+Apple=??? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Aadain2001 (684036) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @05:20PM (#15389775) Journal
    You realize that Nike hasn't run sweatshops for a long time now right? The factories in Asia used to be contracted by Nike to produce shoes, so Nike did not own them. After all the bad PR they moved in and took over the factories and now the people have very nice working conditions and earn a much higher than average wage compared to the rest of the countries over there. If you would like to end sweatshops, try talking to Adidas, Rebook, etc, which still do use sweatshop in Asia.
  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @05:26PM (#15389828) Homepage Journal
    That won't short out when you do the swimming portion.

    And, has anyone thought of having it make your shoes shuffle when you set the iPod on "shuffle"?

    Nike: Just Do It But First Pay Money

    Seriously, though, as a former marathon runner (2 hr 29 minutes back when the world record was 2 hr 14 minutes), I question the practical utility of an integrated shoe to iPod link - sure, it's nice to know your approximate pedometer rating, but in reality that is not a real number, only an estimation based on your running stride and (more likely) walking stride - pedometers tend to fail when you are in hill climb and downhill portions.

    One would be better served by a GPS integrated iPod that has a calculator function that tells you your literal pace, infers heartrate from a standard external monitor, and shows comparison timings from when you do a fast run at increased speed for a shorter practice run as a goal setter, and possibly uses the iPod music interface to tell you useful information such as:

    1. 20 miles to go!
    2. take a drink of water soon (elapsed time indicates thirst)
    3. you are running at/above/below peak training speed (based on prior training or estimated speeds)
    4. hill coming up, duration 2 miles (based on GPS readings and the route/map you gave)
    5. only 4 miles to go! (as you get further on)

    And so on.

    But none of that has anything to do with a shoe. You're far better off with a watch/GPS that connects to your iPod.
  • To myself, who I'd consider to be a reasonably serious athlete, I prefer the food pods to GPS for a few reasons. They're typically smaller, but most importantly, they aren't automatically destroyed by large buildings or tree cover. Living in areas where I would run on trails surrounded by large trees, or in downtown with large buildings, I would constantly lose GPS signals and so my distance, pace, and maps of my runs would be way off in areas. The foot pods can be calibrated by you on a track to make them accurate to your stride, and are +/- 1% after doing that typically, which is better than my GPS was by far. Now they have downsides as well (elevation gain typically isn't measured), but they're better than losing signal for some of us.
  • by dancpsu (822623) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @05:34PM (#15389875) Journal
    Actually, when I first read the headline, I thought Apple was doing some mobile DDR with shoe accelerometers connected to the iPod.
  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kadin2048 (468275) <slashdot DOT kadin AT xoxy DOT net> on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @06:11PM (#15390117) Homepage Journal
    What would be very cool is if it would attempt to match the beats per minute of your song to your actual steps per minute, so you could run to music at whatever pace you wanted to. I think iTunes has a BPM field, so you could probably at least have the iPod choose songs that were close to your pace (so you could have different pump-up, running, and cool-down music), but I don't know if you can easily alter the playback speed of an MP3 without altering it's pitch to do exact cadence matching. I wonder if it has enough processor overhead to do on-the-fly resampling.
  • Re:Nike+Apple=??? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Chris Burke (6130) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @07:20PM (#15390461) Homepage
    Interesting. The last time I recall the issue coming up was when Nike was claiming in their advertisements that they had improved conditions for the sweatshop workers and that they were not sweatshops anymore. I remember this because they were sued for false advertising, but the court ruled that while Nike's claims were in fact false, their lie was protected by the 1st Ammendment.

    This was from an article linked by /. a couple years ago, so anything resembling detail is gone. Except the "it's okay for them to lie about sweatshops because of the 1st Ammendment" thing, since the insanity that causes the word "person" in the 14th Ammendment to apply to corporations but not homosexuals (at least until very recently) is a major pet peeve of mine.
  • Re:Nike+Apple=??? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) <dylan AT dylanbrams DOT com> on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @08:02PM (#15390683) Homepage Journal
    Intelligent first posts are now a 'subscriber bonus,' really. If you give /. a bunch of cash they let you see stories a few minutes early, and if you happened to have previously requested a mildly inappropriately labeled iPod from Apple (or known where to get text of an order like this) you're suddenly five steps ahead of everyone else. As long as you know how to use a text editor, that is.
  • Re:Nike+Apple=??? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Orangejesus (898961) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @09:16PM (#15390969)
    I do missions work in third world countries. I see a lot of these "sweatshops" myself, and have to say that it upsets me how backwards americans have it in their bubble little rich world. These so called "sweatshops" that all the americans protest are fantastic for the communities they usually go into. These people have nothing, they make nothing, they barely survive and in often cases they don't. Their lives are extremely hard and sweatshop or not they do backbreaking work from sunup to sundown in order to survive. The "sweatshop" jobs are highly prized with often thousands of people competeing for the most menial jobs. as someone can make litterally 100 times what they were making before. These "sweatshops" allow people to buy basic necessities for their families. It allows them to send their daughters to school instead of selling them into prostitution. And they bring (relative)wealth into the communitites. I'm not saying they are perfect, i'm not saying that it doesn't suck to work in these places, but it is SO MUCH BETTER than what they had before. I'm sure everyone means well, and they have these ideas of 5 year olds being chained to conveyor belts but thats just simply not how it is.
  • by Dynedain (141758) <slashdot2 AT anthonymclin DOT com> on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @09:34PM (#15391013) Homepage
    How does a quarter of factories equal 40%?

    Now, while I agree that the sweatshops of the kind used by almost every overseas manufacturer is despicable, your twisting of the argument by fudging the numbers doesn't help your case. Remember, "C" is considered an average rating. If 60% of their factories are above average, thats pretty good. And only 25% fall into the "serious problems" category. That means that 15% are in the average range. If anything, Nike should be commended for making such a turn-around from their historic sweatshop past, and for having the guts to publish this kind of information about themselves. You can't go from horrible to perfect overnight. Lets see how they improve the bad factories in the future.
  • Re:Nike+Apple=??? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JediLow (831100) * on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @12:43AM (#15391736)
    Thats bull. Take for instance China (Xining - the capital of Qinghai province), the GDP of an individual was $800... while its a little higher than $2 a day, its not much, and people in that city enjoy clean water, well-built houses, and electricity.

    The American-centric attitude that people have really just makes me sick. Try going to a different country before making all these claims about how we're treating other people so badly - they have the option to take that job or not, and the people that have those jobs are happy they have them (yes, I know people in that situation... and I myself am an immirgrant to the United States).

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Xyde (415798) <slashdot AT purrrr DOT net> on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @01:19AM (#15391866)
    The iPod can already do this for audiobooks, i assume it could be done for mp3 as well.
  • Re:Nike+Apple=??? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by maggot the shrew (243579) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @06:08AM (#15392676)
    The distinction is irrelevant. Nike dictates all the terms to the sweatshops that make Nike shoes and they are specifically culpable for their decision to stop doing business in Korea and Taiwan after those sweatshops unionized to seek out cheaper, more exploitative places elsewhere.

    http://www.globalexchange.org/campaigns/sweatshops /nike/ [globalexchange.org]

    You are regurgitating Nike propoganda, which has been demonstrated to be false. Nike is not responding to bad publicity by addressing the problem, they are responding on the cheap by hiring PR firms to "shore up their image."

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