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MP3 Players

Nike + iPod running kit makes a dash for it

The ultimate running kit makes its UK debut, but what's the appeal of a pedometer in your shoe?

This is Apple's new pedometer. Put down your pitchforks, lynch mob! A pedometer doesn't have an unhealthy interest in children, it measures how far you've run. The Nike + iPod Sports Kit is now available in the UK for an oddly affordable £19. Launched yesterday in the eight billion degree heat of Regent's Park, the Nike + iPod kit consists of a small radio transmitter, placed in your shoe, and a little receiver that plugs into your iPod.

The kit will keep your informed on your progress during a run, giving real-time feedback in a male or female voice (no drill sergeant setting yet, but expect some enterprising coder to release a hack). Once you've finished your run, software lets you track your performance on a Mac or PC.

A wireless sensor inside the custom, built-in pocket beneath the insole of the 'Nike+ shoe' sends running data to the receiver into the Dock connector on your iPod nano. As you run or walk, the sensor sends information to your nano, tracking your time, distance, pace and calories burned.

Back at your computer, the iPod can transfer data to iTunes and There, you can evaluate your performance history, set goals and challenge other runners to a virtual race.

Though the Nike and Apple partnership may elicit its fair share of controversy, if you can push moral concerns aside, this is an extremely impressive system. -CS

Update: See a full review and more images of the Nike + iPod Sport Kit in our Reviews channel.