The Nike+ ecosystem has been around for about six years now, but it’s always been a feature that is exclusively designed for runners. It does a great job of tracking all the important stats of a run, and is also integrated with social media, but what if you’re not a runner? You’ll be out of luck until this summer, when Nike plans to launch products and apps for both Nike+ Basketball and Nike+ Training programs. These new additions to will include high-tech footwear options for both basketball and general training that will transmit important data and stats to corresponding mobile apps. All of this is in the hopes of giving users the most accurate information in order to track and improve performance.
For Nike+ Basketball, eager fans will have to fork over some bills (the price is still unknown) for the Nike Hyperdunk+, which will be sported by LeBron James this summer. The shoes have four pressure sensors and an accelerometer inside that together can track distance, number of steps, and jump height over time and will send that information (via Bluetooth) back to the user’s iPhone or iPod touch and Nike+ app. Users can then go back and look at the accumulated data, compare it to other players, and share stats easily via social media. The app has one other particularly cool feature called Showcase — users can shoot a video of themselves on the court and the app will superimpose their playing stats onto the video. That video can then be shared via social networks, of course.
Nike+ Training uses specialized training shoes, the Lunar Hyperworkout+ for women and the Lunar TR 1+ for men, as well as a library of training videos to try to inspire users. The app contains short workout videos demonstrated by athletes like Rafael Nadal and Hope Solo that users can choose one at a time or combine into a program by selecting a skill level, either beginning, intermediate, or advanced. The specialized shoes will be able to track stats and tell the users if they are keeping up with the workout or not. However, because the shoes can only track distance, steps, and height over time, the workouts are somewhat limited and the shoes won’t be able to track stats from things like push-ups, crunches, or light weightlifting. Those who don’t want to fork over the money for the fancy shoes will still be able to use the app as a tool and watch the workout videos without any tracking info.
The shoes and the apps will be available in the US, UK, France, Germany, and mainland China come June 29.