Friday, February 8, 2008

Product pick of the week

I am introducing a new feature to my blog.
I will regularly post about a product or innovation that is making my life better that I want to share with my readers (I know there's at least 3 of you).
*Disclaimer: Just because it is called product pick of the week does not actually mean a new product will be picked every week. It may be twice a week, or once a month, or whenever I find a new cool product which might not be for months at a time, so you'll just have to keep checking and hope for me to find new stuff that you can try on my recommendation.
This week's pick:
Nike Plus Ipod
For anyone trying to get motivation to run, or walk for that matter, this is the product you need.
Nike Plus Ipod has a few different parts. Some are required, some are additonal accessories.
First, you've gotta have Nike plus shoes. You'll notice the shoes in the picture have the Nike swoop and a + sign in the sole. That means these are not regular Nikes. These Nikes have a little compartment under the insole of the left shoe that holds the sensor.
Which means the second thing you need is the Nike + kit. This includes the shoe sensor and the transmitter.
The transmitter plugs in to the third requirement: your ipod nano. (It might work with full size Ipods, but I haven't tried yet, so I'm not sure).
While you are running, or walking, the sensor sends information to the transmitter and your ipod can tell you, both on the readout and with an audible voice that comes on over your music: how far you've gone, how fast you are going, how much farther you have to reach your goal (you can set a goal at the beginning of each workout), and how many calories you've burned.
You can then upload this information to which will track your total miles. You can also set your own goals and join online challenges where you compete with other nike + runners.
One of my favorite features is the powersong. You can pick a song as your powersong. Then when you are on your final stretch or need a pick-me-up during your run, you press and hold the center button and your powersong will play to help motivate you. My powersong: Pump It, by the Black Eyed Peas.
Some of the accessories are the armband which is made to hold your nano with the transmitter, (I finally got this because my regular ipod case didn't fit the transmitter too), and the special running headphones that have earbuds, but the wire is more rigid and the two ear wires connect at the back of your neck and the single cord hangs down behind you so it doesn't get in your way while running.
Cost? Okay. Getting the whole set can be expensive. I recomend buying at a Nike outlet if you have one available. The shoes can go for $60-120. (Usually about $30 less than regular retail if you buy at an outlet). Ipod nanos run from $100-200. I have the original first edition nano which only has 1 gig of memory, but it works just fine. Then the Nike + kit with the sensor and transmitter costs about $30.
Or, you can buy a starter kit at which includes the sensor, transmitter, a 4 gig video ipod nano and a $100 Nike gift card to buy your shoes. Starter kit: $278.
So it is an investment that you probably only want to make if you are serious about running. But if you are serious about running I definitely recommend this. I love it.
Product downside: It only works with Ipod, not any other mp3 player. Just one more way apple and ipod are monopolizing.

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