Saturday, January 10, 2009

Nike+ Sportband, the definition of insanity



Albert Einstein supposedly said "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If that's true then I am truly insane because I continue to use my Nike+ Sportband hoping that its display, like its two predecessors, won't corrode and fade away. I realize that I have been complaining a lot lately in my posts - runners with bad safety judgment, elliptical machine issues and again the Sportband - but I question why so many fitness technologies just don't work.

I am a technologist and those who know me will agree that I am passionate about the ways technology can benefit society. I say this to demonstrate that I am neither a Luddite nor "purist" when it comes to workout science. However, between my Sportband troubles, continuing problems with our elliptical machine's HRM and an earlier disappointing experience with Brookstone's Heart Rate Ring I am zero for 3 in terms of consumer satisfaction. Why bring a product to market that just doesn't work?


I applaud Nike for having developed a very affordable system that accurately tracks running metrics using an RFID sensor along with a lightweight watch that captures the information in real time. What bothers me is that Nike, an $18 billion company founded on the development of an innovative running shoe, seems to have given up on this idea because their original design was poorly engineered. If the problem is that the water seal of the display is flawed why not fix that and reintroduce the product? While there is an iPod based solution it's an irrelevant choice for those who don't have or want an iPod.


Yet, through this, as my current Sportband continues to degrade and fade, I hold out hope that the next one I get when I swap it out at Dick's will work better. That is if they still have them. Otherwise I will ask for a refund and consider my next technology decision: Should I apply my refund to the purchase of a Garmin Forerunner 50 with Heart Rate Monitor and Foot Pod or go all out and get the Garmin Forerunner 405 Black GPS Enabled Sports Watch/ HRM for three times the price but with everything a running techno-geek would ever want?


It all comes down to my earlier point. What if I bought the 405 and it doesn't work? Then I'll have nothing to aspire to. Maybe that will be the time to buy a stopwatch.

3 comments:

  1. Hello. I got the forerunner 50, HRM, and foot pod for Christmas. I love love love it. It works for my needs. Heart rate zones, speed, distance, and cadence. I've been very happy with the automatic connection and download to my computer. I take off the watch while I stretch and check the run while icing and hydrating. Note: Maps doesn't work with this product. Amazon for $130? Not bad.

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  2. Hi Justin, I've thought about the 50, it seems like a great alternative to the Sportband. The only issue is I've read the foot pod isn't that accurate. If it is I'll certainly consider it although my inner geek really wants a GPS watch.

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  3. Get the 405. I LOVE IT!

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