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New Nike shoes talk to people via their iPods

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Nike Inc. is putting the world's most popular music player to work in a system designed for its latest athletic shoes that tells runners the distance and time they've covered in their daily jog.

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The company teamed up with Apple Computer Inc. to offer the Nike+iPod Sport Kit, a wireless system that includes a sensor chip used in Nike+ shoes to relay information to a receiver that attaches to an iPod nano music player.

In a demonstration video on its Web site, Nike showed a runner hooking up the system to his iPod nano, which then proceeded to keep him updated on his running time, distance, calories burned and other information. It also displays the information on the iPod's screen.

The new system can only be used with Nike shoes made for the Nike+, and the first such shoe on offer is the Nike+ Air Zoom Moire, which can be pre-ordered on the company's Web site. Nike has also specially designed other apparel, including jackets and shorts, and an iPod armband, with water-proof pockets for iPod nanos.

In addition, a new Nike Sport Music section has also been added to the iTunes Music Store, and Nike has set up a new Web site to personalize the system for users.

The Nike+iPod sport kit is expected to be available by late July in the U.S. at a retail price of around US$29 each, through Apple and Nike stories and Web sites, in addition to select retail stores throughout the U.S.

Apple users interested in the shoes will need a Nike+ shoe, an iPod nano and Mac with USB 2.0 and Mac OS X version 10.3.9 or later, as well as iTunes 6.0.5 for the system. PC users will require USB 2.0, Windows 2000, XP Home or Professional and iTunes 6.0.5.

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