The Nike + iPod platform has been an odd duck from the beginning, one of the few partnerships into which Apple has entered that seems beneficial to another brand besides Apple. And I’ve had it on good word from people who run that the Nike Plus system can add quite a bit to those interested in statistics showing their progress. It was an easy and relatively inexpensive way to add stats tracking to something many runners were already using.
Buying gym-quality cardio equipment, however, is expensive, which is exactly what Nike and Apple are suggesting gym operators do to take part in the next phase of the partnership. New machines from Life Fitness, Precor, Star Trac, and Technogym will allow users to plug in their iPod nano into the console to record their workout data, all of which will be integrated onto the NikePlus.com web site.
Adding the technology to the machines shouldn’t cost that much—just a slot for the iPod, a dock connector, and an interface to dump the data in a compatible format (something Apple is surely providing to the equipment manufacturers). Unfortunately, these sorts of machines are extraordinarily expensive, often several thousand dollars per unit, and gym operators are loathe to replace them before they have to.
Which is to say, in my typical authoritative style: maybe. Maybe eventually. But it’ll be a couple of years, I suspect, before the Nike + iPod platform sees any real penetration anywhere but newly opened gyms. (And I say that as someone who might actually use the platform now, as I can’t run without destroying my knees and shins, but will use cardio machines.)
Nike + iPod Experience Coming To A Gym Near You [NikeBiz.com]