Suit claims earlier patents on Nike, iPod tech
An unusual lawsuit filed earlier this week hoped to upturn another lawsuit over Nike+iPod technology. Maryland resident Erik Cherdak claimed to have had two patents relating to an "athletic shoe with timing device" that predate the patents accessory maker PhatRat was using to sue, and later license out to, Apple and Nike. He hoped to have the two PhatRat patents invalidated on top of forcing Apple and Nike to pay licensing fees for iPhones, iPods, and shoes designed to use the Nike+ system, all under the threat of a possible ban.
Would push beyond Nike+ technlogy
A new Apple patent application hints at the possibility of an official fitness center app for iPhones. The software would have hooks for social networking, one example being the ability to find a workout buddy, whether at a specific fitness center or anywhere in a given city. A gaming aspect would allow people to challenge each other, say by beating running times.
New marketing touts 'running without music'
Nike is directing shoppers' attention away from iPhones and iPods in new marketing, a report notes. In some ads appearing in stores, the sports gear maker is advertising the Nike+ SportBand as "the freedom of running without music." The SportBand attaches to a wrist, and tracks statistics like distance and speed that can later be transferred via USB.
iPod nano seen costing 45 US to build
Apple's sixth generation iPod nano costs just a third of its selling price to make, iSuppli estimated in a cost breakdown today. The bill of materials and manufacturing for an 8GB iPod nano reach only $45.10. The device is the second least expensive iPod to make so far, being beaten only by the fourth generation $40.80 nano.
Nike Plus GPS hits App Store
Nike in a Labor Day twist posted a special stand-alone version of its Nike+iPod app. Nike+ GPS ($2, App Store) uses an Apple device's built-in accelerometer and location finding, preferably an iPhone's GPS but also through iPod touch players, to track the pace and distance without needing the Nike+iPod shoe adapter. iPhone owners can get a visual map of the route tied into Google Maps.
Polar intros WearLink+ for heart rate with Nike+
Training heart rate monitor maker Polar has introduced one of the few Nike+ transmitters outside of Nike in the WearLink+. The band is compatible with the Nike+ SportBand and Nike+iPod Sport Kit but does more than track pace. It straps around a user's chest and brings heart rate monitoring for the first time to the two existing Nike+ offerings.
Caps long series of fitness-related Apple patents
A new Nike heart rate monitor -- the first compatible with Nike+iPod technology -- should launch on June 1st, says a spokesperson for the company. The representative adds that it may actually be in some American stores "slightly sooner," while Canadians will get the accessory before the end of June. Launches in other countries are scheduled only for sometime this summer.
Apple Black Friday discounts active in US
Apple as promised has launched its Black Friday sale, currently ongoing in the US, Canada and Europe. The Friday-only discounts are highlighted by a $101 price cut for all iMac and MacBook Pro models regardless of size. The iPod touch also sees heavy discounts, bringing the 64GB model down to $358, the 32GB version to $268 and the 8GB model down to $178.
Also enables Genius Mixes for Nike+iPod
Apple has posted a v1.0.2 firmware update for the fifth-generation iPod nano, which was launched this September. The firmware corrects a problem with podcast playback at different speeds. Newly enabled is the ability to use Genius Mixes in tandem with the Nike+iPod fitness add-on.
Evidence from Apple's own website
The latest iPod nano may soon have an optional Nike heart rate monitor, a guide from Apple's website is said to indicate. The manual (PDF) includes a section called "Linking a Nike+iPod Compatible Remote or Heart Rate Monitor," specifically stating that the technology is only compatible with a fifth-gen Nano. Although the new player is already in stores, there is no sign of the quoted monitor.
Nike SportBand and iPhone
Nike today upgraded its Nike+ running gear with a new SportBand and an extra feature for iPhone users. The tracking device for calories, distance and speed has a new background to be more easily readable on the run and is weather sealed to prevent it getting wet. It can work as a stand-alone device or as a supplement to an iPhone or iPod that saves having to look at Apple's players to check run information.
Apple car, sports patents
Two sets of patent applications filed with the USPTO may point to unusual interests on Apple's part. The first describes a system for pairing in-car electronics with Apple hardware such as an iPhone, iPod or even MacBook. In using the technique, a car's electronics could be prevented from working for thieves simply due to being out of wireless range. Alternately the pairing could be used to control navigation systems even when an Apple portable is present, for instance by shutting down phone dialing when outside of a given area.
iPod nano 1.0.3 update
Apple has released a significant update for the fourth-generation iPod nano, in the form of new v1.0.3 software. The firmware should allow use of Apple's special in-ear headphones, which feature a remote and mic and should allow some form of audio recording. Apple has also introduced the ability to disable Cover Flow when rotating a player, and turn on Cover Flow manually through the Music menu.
Apple Nike Plus Patent
Apple is investigating putting more stringent controls on the Nike+iPod system used for the iPod nano and now the iPod touch, according to a new US patent filing. Expressing concern that customers might buy the Nike+iPod kit but use it with non-Nike shoes or in different locations, the patent describes using RFID tags and similar sensors built into shoes or other clothing to pair the transmitter with its intended destination. The device would refuse to work unless close to authorized clothes.
Second-gen iPod touch
Apple has confirmed rumors by revealing the existence of a second-generation iPod touch, bringing with it several enhancements. Central is a revised casing, which uses a contoured profile similar in shape to the iPhone 3G, but with stainless steel replacing plastic. Other similarities with the iPhone include new volume buttons, allowing blind adjustment, and a speaker, from which owners can hear both music and system sounds.
On August 31, Nike and Apple will be hosting one of the world's largest one-day running events, The Nike+ Human Race 10K. Individuals are able to either join together with large groups of runners in 25 different host cities or they may choose to run where they are and then upload their stats via Nike+. Runners can sign up for the event through Nike+'s website and are given the option to choose a charity that they would like to run for. Registered runners may run for the UN Refugee Agency, the Lance Armstrong Foundation or the WWF.
TrailRunner for Nike-plus
Berbie Software on Friday unveiled TrailRunner 1.7, an update to its outdoor route-planning and journaling software, adding support for Nike+ online community and enhanced support for several Garmin GPS devices. Users of the Nike+iPod system or the Nike+ SportBand can now display their collected workout data within TrailRunner to match the recordings with created routes, as well as utilize performance analysis tools. TrailRunner 1.7 is donation-ware, in that the application itself is free, but tokens of appreciation are welcome.
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.
Nike+ for iPhone/Touch
The Nike+ fitness technology will indeed become available for the iPhone and the iPod touch, a Nike spokesperson has confirmed. Speculation began that it might when patent filings surfaced last month, pointing to an integrated fitness system similar to the existing Nike+iPod kit for Nanos. Although there is no sign of the extra sensors mentioned in the patent, or its extra activities such as weight-lifting, the new Nike+ system should at least replicate the running support of Nike+iPod, and its corresponding website tracking and competition.
Nike+iPod in equipment
Nike and Apple are refreshing their Nike+iPod offerings this summer, by working with Life Fitness, Precor, Star Trac, and Technogym, with the goal of making exercise equipment compatible with the workout tracking system. Users will be able to attach their iPod nano directly to a number of different treadmills, elliptical trainers, stationary bikes, and stair climbers, and utilize the same statistic and objective tracking that is offered by the stand-alone kit.
Six new Apple patents.
The US Patent and Trademark Office today published six Apple patents, five of which revolve around the Apple + Nike initiative, and the sixth being related to optical media. Apple is looking to create an adapter to use with 8cm optical discs, so that they function inside of the 12cm-formatted drive slots that occupy most of the Cupertino-based company's computers. Two models appear in the patents, one that snaps together out of separate pieces, while another relies on a telescopic motion to close the adapter around the disk.