As a longtime runner who prefers his New Balance and iRiver (with the FM Radio — hello, Apple!!), it just seemed too gimmicky for me. I just don’t need a disembodied voice telling me my progress. However, I am clearly in the minority here, as it is apparently a big hit, perhaps even helping Nike have their best quarter in a decade.
Shows what I know.
However, not everybody is happy with the Nike + iPod.
One company, called PhatRat, who develops a similar performance-measuring technology, has filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Apple.
A bit more ominously, a University of Washington doctoral student discovered that someone could be tracked in real time while earing the device. However, given the limited transmission range; the amount of trouble you would need to go to set up the tracking system, and the fact that if the person doesn’t go where you expect them to go, they would be off of the grid, it seems like a pretty inefficient stalking system.
Nevertheless, look for it as a plot point on an upcoming — “Ripped From The Headlines” — episode of one of those CBS procedurals.
And finally, there is this recent commercial, which uses what everybody no doubt refers to as “That OK Go Song With The Treadmills.” To me, this makes no sense whatsoever. Because that song will forever be associated with the clever video where they are doing the dance routine — not even running! — on the treadmills, I’m not sure how it fits in this context.
First off, street runners aren’t all that wild about treadmills — being outdoors, with all of the attendant issues, is part of the point — so it doesn’t seem to be targeted correctly. Also, when I’ve been forced to use treadmills (see what I mean?), I’ve noticed that they are full of dials and gauges that measure time and distance. So why would I need the NiPod in that context, exactly? It doesn’t make any sense.
Of course, once again, who am I to judge the joint output of two of the greatest marketing departments the world has ever seen? It could be that I’m just entirely wrong about the whole thing. As a matter of fact, I probably am.