updated 12:20 pm EDT, Fri April 25, 2008
Nike+iPod gear patent
A Nike patent application, recently published by the US Patent and Trademark Office, appears to detail some of the company's plans for new Nike+iPod gear. Key to the technology is an expansion beyond the single sensor offered today, which slips into a person's shoe and only tracks pacing and distance. Future sensors may monitor many different factors, including EKG, heartrate, body temperature and even hydration. GPS data may also be present, enabling users to track exactly which routes they have taken.
These sensors would be mounted "in or on" various kinds of clothing, such as armbands and headbands, and might also be attached to various kinds of sports equipment, such as bats, rackets, bicycles or golf clubs. The patent further illustrates how the technology would interact with touchscreen devices like the iPhone or iPod touch; users may have the option of voice commands, helping to safeguard their electronics against sweaty fingers.
Some sensors may be able to communicate with nearby devices other than an iPod, such as computers and exercise machines. Accordingly, iPods involved in the equation could be set to play video as well as audio mixes, including coaching and/or "motivational" content.