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MP3 Players

Nike+iPod takes its mark Down Under

In a partnership with Apple, Nike will launch the Nike+iPod Sports Kit in Australia on 28 October, which will carry a price tag of $48.

Nike+iPod Sports Kit

In a partnership with Apple, Nike will launch the Nike+iPod Sports Kit in Australia on 28 October, which will carry a price tag of $48.

The kit consists of an oval-shaped device about the size of a flattened jellybean that you slip under the sole of a specially designed Nikeplus-ready shoe. There is also a receiver that attaches to the iPod Nano's dock connector, which allows the two components to talk to each other.

Nike representatives explained to CNET.com.au that the insole device is an "accelerometer" that measures forward motion and the time your left foot spends on the ground. The information is then sent wirelessly to a linked iPod which, using inbuilt software, calculates calories burned (based on your weight) and pace (time taken to run a kilometre). First- and second-generation iPod Nanos are supported. Both display statistics on-screen in realtime with periodic audible feedback through the headphones, even when music is playing.

Although there are methods of using the Nike+iPod by velcroing it to shoes of other brands, obviously Nike's interest in the partnership is to sell more of its own running sneakers. As such, it will launch around 11 types of sports shoe over the next three months that have a specially designed dug-out hole under the insole to accommodate the accelerometer. The "hero shoe" Nike uses in its advertising is called the Air Zoom Moire and is expected to be available in selected Footlocker stores on Saturday for $180.

Nikeplus Web site Australia

After a workout, when users sync their iPod with their PC, the data is sent over the Internet to Nikeplus.com, where users can track their progress, challenge friends to a run and set up fitness goals.

Nike also plans to launch a line of Nike+Apparel fitness clothing designed to house iPod Nanos and manage headphone cables. Unfortunately the Nike armband we saw in a demonstation won't be out in Australia until January.

Read our full review of the iPod+Nike Sports Kit for more information.