I just got back from attending the launch of the Nike+iPod running kit. As someone who loves running (possibly uniquely among IT journalists), this sort of thing should be right up my street. And I do mean running, not 'jogging'. But I can't see myself shelling out.
It strikes me as a nice idea, worth exploring, but for now the costs involved are too big. And the unique features are a touch gimmicky.
The success of sports-based GPS kit and the extortionate price of brand name trainers only serves to illustrate the booming market for unneccessary jogging equipment. And the joining of Nike and Apple marries two beautifully airbrushed, devil-free brands for people with more money than sense.
(If I had a pound for everyone I've seen ambling along at a snail's pace, wearing a Nike running shirt made of über-light, breathable super material, with a special iPod pouch and muggable trainers of purest white, I'd have made £9 today. London’s streets are choked with over-equipped, under-trained people high-fiving each other after they've shuffled round a 10k to raise money for 'Horses for Rich Kids', or some other equally deserving charity. I may have a bee in my bonnet on this one.)
These people will probably rush to buy the Nike+iPod kit in much the same way as they purchased their iPods. It's not the cheapest way to get the job done, but it's certainly the one that looks the best.
I also wonder about the accuracy of the distances calculated. The chap I spoke to was candid enough to admit that, while it's much more accurate than a traditional pedometer, the Nike+iPod is not as accurate as satnav. GPS kit may seem on the face of it to be much more expensive, but you can use it with any pair of trainers so it won't wear out after a few months.
My verdict? I know plenty of serious runners (without beer guts) who love nothing more than buying kit to enhance their workout experience. And make themselves look good. But they won't want to restrict themselves to Nike trainers and they don't all own nanos. I do, as it goes, but I reckon I'll stick to my GPS. (They'll probably sell millions).