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  • Nike + iPod Sport Kit

     

    For a field already glutted with gadgets, the Nike + iPod kit is the most elegant of high-tech runner's aids. An instrument the size of a pebble measures your pace from a pocket inside one of Nike's specially designed shoes. The pebble streams data to a computer that keeps time and calculates caloric burn. Instead of making you buy a whole new computerized accessory, Nike and Apple decided to use a computer you may already own, an iPod nano.

    When you drop the pebble into your shoe and connect the wireless receiver to the nano, a Nike + iPod menu item appears. Click it, then select a distance or time for your workout. Select your music, a particular playlist or the iPod's "Shuffle Songs" feature. You are immediately prompted by a female voice to begin your run, and then the music adjusts to the right volume. The voice returns calling out your performance, at every 10-minute interval for instance, or every time you hit the nano's center button. As she speaks, the music falls to the background. Toward the end of your run, her calls increase in frequency, a countdown to your personal finish line. (If you want, you can change the woman's voice to a man's.) To get you going when you start to drag, you designate a Power Song, activating it mid-run by holding down the center button.


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