Good news for geeky waistlines! Nike did away with the cumbersome sensor of its Nike+ exercise system and added GPS support to its popular iPhone application. The original Nike+ system used a sensor that you place in a special Nike shoe to track your running. The sensor monitored your movement and sent the data to your iPhone or iPod touch so you could track your time, distance, pace, and calories burned. While innovative, the mobile exercise system was plagued with sensor connectivity problems and poor performance. The special shoe requirement was also inconvenient and a hindrance to widespread adoption by iPhone onwers.
That was then and this now. The current iPhone app does away with the sensor and uses the handset’s GPS and accelerometer to monitor your progress. Runners and walkers alike can now fire up the app, turn on GPS, and track their exercise on their iPhone. The app tracks your pace, calculates your distance, and maps your running route. iPod touch users can still use the app to log their pace and distance but lose out on the mapping feature as the iPod touch lacks GPS.
The app also allows offers several motivational features including voice-prompted encouragement, a Powersong feature to give you a boost, and a location option that lets you find yourself on the map so you can see how far you have traveled. If you are into the social thing, you can also send your results to Nikeplus.com where you can share your progress, take part in challenges, and set goals. All this for $1.99, a price tag that makes it a no-brainer for those with some get up and go.
Additional information on the Nike + GPS application is available here from iTunes. If you are not sold on the Nike system, there are also several free or similarly priced alternatives like Jog Log or RunKeeper Free that use GPS but do not connect to the Nikeplus online community.