Finally, A Surprise From Apple

Man, that felt good! You know, going to the Apple site and seeing something that wasn’t on every single rumor site around. The new Nike plus iPod hookup is interesting on a lot of levels. Obviously Nike working to extend the overall functionality of the iPod with their little iPod Sport Kit is interesting unto itself … these things empower you to actually use your (1) sneakers to record your work-out progress that then (2) auto syncs to your iPod to (3)your computer to the (4) Internet and merge your data with (5) everyone else’s. Man, other than the sneakers, it sounds a lot like a system I’d like to investigate in the education space.

If Nike can build something, probably with some help from Apple, that can interact at that level with an iPod Nano we can certainly do something. That’s we — the education technology community. Imagine how we can use the iPod to collect all sorts of data. With a custom dongle (or whatever that thing is connected to the bottom) and some data transfer the iPod could be used for a lot more. It shows everyone that the iPod is a very powerful, capable, and ubiquitous device that can act as a data collection bridge.

Its a bridge because with the right software it can be used to sync all sorts of interesting classroom interactions. We used to look at Palm Pilots this way … a small classroom data collection device that was easy to use. We grew very tired of it — and we never saw commercial innovation like the iPod plus Nike deal on the Palm. Will this signal a real move towards the recognition of the iPod Platform? We’ve seen lots of interesting things in the iPod space, but this seems to be a move that could convince people that the iPod is actually a computer with its own UI, expandability, and OS. It might be time to investigate the developer opportunities around the iPod. Just a thought …

5 thoughts on “Finally, A Surprise From Apple

  1. Pretty interesting. I spent last summer collecting lots of physiological data (some came from Nike Triax heart monitors), had to integrate all the stuff myself on my G5. Would have been much better to have all the data collected and visualized on an iPod.

    The shoes are only the start. Be great if I could get pedometer readings plus allow inputs from my heart sensors, continuous glucose monitoring systems, etc. If my iPod can show me NBA video, it surely has enough “zorch” to give me some health visualizations.

    But that’s my own research interest. Like you, I hope this gets us a little closer to the iPod as computing platform. I’d love to hack it…if I could just get the specs for the sucker (no, I don’t want to install Linux although that’s the easy way to do things). Yup, gotta plead for Apple to give us an iPod dev kit…

    More so, you mention the Palm. K-12 researchers still using Palms in classrooms. Seems strange, cause I don’t know a lot of kids who beg for Pilots at Xmas time…but I know a lot of them begging for white earbuds…

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