I was posting my workouts to the Nike+ website yesterday and I noticed a new toy that’s coming out soon. On April 18, Nike is releasing the Sportband, a device that can be used instead of the Ipod Nano to receive workout data from the sensor.
From what I can tell, the Sportband is sort of like a watch but not a watch. It’s a rubber wrist strap with a (very small?) display built in that will read pace, distance, calories burned…all the data sent from the sensor. When you’re finished with your run, the display (they call it the Link) can be removed from the wrist strap and plugged into a computer with a built-in USB connector. All the run data gets uploaded to the Nike+ website, just like it does through iTunes for the Nano. The Sportband is selling for $60, which includes the Sportband and Link, as well as the sensor that goes in (or on) your shoe.
Nike is marketing this as a new Nike+ option…you can “hear your run” or “see your run.” Typical of Nike, that’s pretty clever. At first, I couldn’t quite grasp a possible use for this. If I want to see my pace or overall time, I’ll wear a watch with the Nano. The other data can wait until I get home. I’ve never had a mid-run desire to know how many calories I’ve burned. For me, the neat thing about Nike+ is that it combines music with workout data. Then I realized…this is Nike’s attempt to exapand their market. The sportband is targeting folks who don’t care about getting music while they’re running, who don’t want to spend $200 on a Nano, but they would like to be able to track their workouts and see how far they’ve run. As such, the sportband seems like a pretty economic option.
And then I wonder:
- How long can the built-in USB drive last? It seems like sweat plus delicate electrical connections can’t be the best of all possible connections. Perhaps?
- How big is the display? Is the data even legible?
- What kinds of controls are on the Sportband? Are there any?
- If you already have the Nano but want the Sportband for, say, racing…do you have to use 2 different sensors or is there a way to order a Sportband WITHOUT a sensor?
- Can you use the Nano and the Sportband at the same time, or will that cause a rip in the space-time continuum?
I’ve already spent enough money on running accessories so I won’t get to try out a Sportband, but I’d love to hear about anyone else’s experiences who does buy one. Anybody? Sportband? See your run?