BW looks inside Apple's partnership with Nike

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple Computer's recently announced partnership with Nike began last year when Nike dreamed up the revolutionary idea of allowing running shoes to talk to an iPod and then contacted Apple to develop the technology behind it, Business Week reports.



"A while back we asked a big question: Could we harness the power of digital technology to improve a runner's experience?" Nike CEO Mark Parker told the publication. "We quickly realized that making a smart shoe wasn't smart enough."



So Parker reportedly contacted a friend: Apple chief executive Steve Jobs. The result was the Nike+iPod Sport Kit, which both execs believed was a "great start" to a partnership that they hope to branch out further in the coming months.



According to Business Week, when Nike and Apple designers met for the first time 18 months ago, the teams simply clicked. "Both companies are technology-driven companies. It's just that we work in completely different areas of technology," Jobs told the publication. "We are semiconductors and software, and Nike is anatomy and precision-molding and thin-film technologies. What's interesting is the people are very similar."



It wasn't all fun and games from the get-go, as the designers were initially met with some pivotal challenges. The sensor embedded in the new Nike Moire running sneaker was initially too big for Nike designers and too small for Apple's team, according to the report. Meanwhile, other challenges centered on the life of the sensor's non-replaceable battery, which Apple says will last close to 1,000 hours.



"Wireless takes power," Jobs told Business Week. "The last thing you wanted was a wire going down your leg. It looks deceptively simple and that's how it should be. It took a while to get it right. But there is a lot of technology there."



Keeping the price of the kit at $29 was also crucial, according to Jobs. He wanted everyone to be able to afford the technology, which he claims is 90 percent accurate straight out of the box.



Parker said there are about 4 million Nike+-ready running shoes in circulation right now, a number could soon balloon to 10 million. In all, Nike plans to offer seven styles of shoes that will be iPod-ready. They'll include the just-announced Air Zoom Moire and several other models from the company's Nike Shox and Air Max lines.



Although both CEOs confirmed to Business Week that the experience of developing the Nike+iPod Sport Kit is just the beginning of a broader strategic relationship, neither cared to get specific.



"It's fun to apply technology in an area where A, it's never been done before, and B, everybody involved in it wants it for themselves. That's always a good sign. Everybody involved in this says, 'This is so cool,' It's great to work on things like this." Parker told the publication. "The connection between the two different products and the potential it creates is huge."



More on the Apple/Nike partnership is available in the Business Week report.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,205member
    "He wanted everyone to be able to afford the technology, which he claims is 90 percent accurate straight out of the box."



    What does that mean? It's 10% off in its accuracy? Does it get better as you use it more? Hmmm...
  • Reply 2 of 26
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,250member
    Does it measure the BPM of your running speed and select songs that have the same BPM as your running?



    Anyway, I think this is a real nice thing. The nano is the best sport player (sort of after the shuffle). But it's only for people that run. People who work out at gyms or biking, inlines, swimming(!) etc are ignored? Perhaps a heart rate sensor and sort of gps based motion sensor would open up for more sports people than just runners/joggers.
  • Reply 3 of 26
    sandausandau Posts: 1,230member
    Keeping the price of the kit at $29 was also crucial, according to Jobs. He wanted everyone to be able to afford the technology...





    umm, yeah, just need a pair of $120 sneakers, the $29 kit, a $500+ computer, and probably (unanounced) a subscription on Nike+ to upload your info...it ain't free.



    Cool though.
  • Reply 4 of 26
    chabigchabig Posts: 617member
    Quote:

    Although both CEOs confirmed to Business Week that the experience of developing the Nike+iPod Sport Kit is just the beginning of a broader strategic relationship, neither cared to get specific.



    It would be great to integrate heart rate monitoring into this system. The chest transmitters are already wireless. Now they just need to integrate it all.
  • Reply 5 of 26
    irelandireland Posts: 17,122member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by sandau

    Keeping the price of the kit at $29 was also crucial, according to Jobs. He wanted everyone to be able to afford the technology...





    umm, yeah, a $500+ computer,




    If you don't have a computer, what are you typing on
  • Reply 6 of 26
    irelandireland Posts: 17,122member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by AppleInsider

    Although both CEOs confirmed to Business Week that the experience of developing the Nike+iPod Sport Kit is just the beginning of a broader strategic relationship, neither cared to get specific.



    Nike Golf/ iPod score taker/ Nike water protective sports case/ nuff said
  • Reply 7 of 26
    wilcowilco Posts: 985member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Ireland

    If you don't have a computer, what are you typing on



    On his leopard. Which coincidently just broke windows with its weapon.
  • Reply 8 of 26
    irelandireland Posts: 17,122member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by wilco

    On his leopard. Which coincidently just broke windows with its weapon.



    What the hell is wrong with you? Grow up!
  • Reply 9 of 26
    wilcowilco Posts: 985member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Ireland

    What the hell is wrong with you? Grow up!



    What's wrong is that I'm sick of seeing your meaningless posts cluttering up every f*cking thread. Give it a rest. Nearly 800 posts in less than 3 months? Do you get paid by the post?
  • Reply 10 of 26
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    I know Wilco is pushing it with his reign of terror, but this



    Quote:

    On his leopard. Which coincidently just broke windows with its weapon.



    made me squirt coffee out of my nose.
  • Reply 11 of 26
    elixirelixir Posts: 782member
    people need to realize this is the first attempt. it wont be perfect but i gurantee you 100000 people just crapped their pants.



    how long have i been waiting for this.... how long have many many many athletic individuals waiting for such integration waited....long time!
  • Reply 12 of 26
    howyoudoinhowyoudoin Posts: 118member
    Long time reader of Appleinsider here, but I found this article on the front page of google news. Quite nice if you ask me
  • Reply 13 of 26
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Ireland

    What the hell is wrong with you? Grow up!



    Hey, I decided to take a break from picking my nose and playing Snood to tell you that your sig sucks.
  • Reply 14 of 26
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,205member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Placebo

    Hey, I decided to take a break from picking my nose and playing Snood to tell you that your sig sucks.



    ROTFLMAO!
  • Reply 15 of 26
    Quote:

    Originally posted by SpamSandwich

    "He wanted everyone to be able to afford the technology, which he claims is 90 percent accurate straight out of the box."



    What does that mean? It's 10% off in its accuracy? Does it get better as you use it more? Hmmm...




    Accuracy is improved by calibrating the sensor, which is an accelerometer. Nike already sells accelerometers that are 97% accurate out-of-the-box, like the Nike SDM Tailwind Speedometer.



    Calibration is done by running a known distance, say you run 1 mile on a track or treadmill, then you adjust the sensor reading to show 1 mile. If you don't calibrate then the sensor might report the distance as 1.1 miles. There is a calibration mode to perform this adjustment. I'm guessing that Apple will issue a firmware update for Nano so you can access calibration mode from the menu.



    I used the Nike SDM Tailwind for about 6 mos before it just died. I paid $80 retail. It had a built-in fastener so you can attach onto the shoelaces. It was bulky because it used a single AA battery but it was weightless.
  • Reply 16 of 26
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,770member
    It's a cool sig, and Wilco clearly needs to enjoy some time off.

    Hopefully, a mod will take note of this nonsense.



    Back on topic, the partnership is interesting. Apple continues to build an iPod universe, making it more difficult for anyone else to compete successfully.
  • Reply 17 of 26
    Maybe this is what the upcoming iTunes 6.0.5 Update is for.
  • Reply 18 of 26
    deepkiddeepkid Posts: 97member
    The BIG question now is, will Steve start wearing Nikes to replace his New Balances at stevenotes/appearances.
  • Reply 19 of 26
    eckingecking Posts: 1,588member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by deepkid

    The BIG question now is, will Steve start wearing Nikes to replace his New Balances at stevenotes/appearances.



    The answer is yes!



    "You have 0.2 miles left to get to the end of the stage. 0.2 miles completed, now refuel with a water bottle Mr Jobs. Now one more thing..."



    Steve gets a custom one to walk him through his keynotes.
  • Reply 20 of 26
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ecking

    The answer is yes!



    "You have 0.2 miles left to get to the end of the stage. 0.2 miles completed, now refuel with a water bottle Mr Jobs. Now one more thing..."



    Steve gets a custom one to walk him through his keynotes.




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