Preview: New Nike Products

Find out more about the Nike+ Fuelband, Nike+ Training app and Nike Flyknit products before their UK launch

by Kerry McCarthy

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Those of you who follow the RW Twitter and FB feeds will know that last month I attended a Nike Innovation event in New York at which Nike unveiled details of their product launch plans for the coming year.

Amidst the blitz of new product development presentations, three things stood out that I thought were worth writing about.

Nike+ Fuelband

This is the latest addition to the series of Nike activity monitors, to follow on from the Sportband+ and Sportwatch+ but is much more geared towards exercise beginners.

What is it?

A wrist band that measures steps, calorie burn, ‘Fuel’ gains, and it also tells the time. Fuel is a fictitious currency invented by Nike to denote how active you are during a day. The more active, the more Fuel points you accrue. You sync the device with your online account and set yourself a Fuel target for the day (2000, 3000 or whatever). You can change the daily target according to how active a day you are going to have (e.g if you know you are doing a long run you’d set the target higher).

As you progress throughout the day a series of LED lights flash across the band from red through amber and finally to green, the closer to your target you get. You also get a reading of how many Fuel points you have scored every time you hit the update button.

How does it work?

From the motion of your arm. It’s s simple premise, if you’re active you’re moving your arm. If you’re not, you’re not.

Is it accurate?

It’s clearly not an accurate measurement of energy burnt or calories expended, no – but that’s not the point. The idea of earning Fuel is that, unlike calorie consumption, you can compare activity level with friends of varying fitness across different sports and work out who amongst you is the most active between, say, the runner, the footballer, the basketball player and so on.

Is it any good?

Actually yes. It's designed to be simple, fun, universally accessible and a motivation tool for those who feel intimidated by some of the exercise forums and gadgets available today. And on this level it succeeds. There’s nothing like glancing down at your arm and realizing your band is still in the red and you’ve missed your target for the fifth day in a row, to get you into your kit and out the door. It’s not the cheapest beginner-targeted gadget at £139 but the ease of set-up, fun functionality and synchronicity with the community make it decent value for money.

Find out more about the Fuelband.

Click through the find our more about the Nike+ Training App and Nike Flyknit.

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