Will the wonders ever cease? Perhaps it is fitting that on the fifth anniversary of the iPhone Nike is launching a connected shoe with an iPhone app. The Nike+ Training shoe includes pressure sensors, sport sensors, a charger, an adapter and of course an app that should be downloaded for the optimal Nike experience. Using a Bluetooth connection, the Nike+ sensors capture movement and other performance information. When the user jumps, the sensors can say how high. These sensors also know whether a user is jumping, running, sprinting and more. The app has onscreen instructions on how to complete a given exercise and its sensors record vital information such as speed and repetitions completed by the user. A voice from the app “coaches” the user on proper form for the exercises. The shoes are mildly water resistant but Nike recommends that they should not be submerged. And by the way, you can share all your information with other Nike+ training friends.
While much is said about how the iPhone along with its accompanying siblings the iPod Touch and the iPad have changed the fortunes of Apple, it bears noting the iPhone has a much bigger reach. A connected Nike shoe would probably not have been possible without the iPhone. It’s also ironic to learn that in the face of tens of billions of app downloads to date, Steve Jobs originally resisted the idea of third-party apps. He did not think that apps would be beneficial to Apple and he worried that third party developers would compromise the integrity of the iPhone and also introduce viruses to the device. But instead those third-party apps have truly changed the world to the point where we can sport a Bluetooth connection to our shoes. Meanwhile, there is no guarantee that a connected shoe can actually compel anyone to get moving.