Exercise podcasts and workout music playlists? That's so last season. Fitness fanatics soon will be able to make their shoes talk to their iPods.
Call it the AirPod. Or the iNike.
Nike Inc. said Tuesday that it was teaming up with Apple Computer Inc. to make a shoe that helps runners keep track of their speed, calories burned, pace and distance using an iPod.
The Nike+iPod Sport Kit allows a new line of Nike shoes to communicate with an iPod nano over a radio frequency. The kit includes a sensor for the footwear and a receiver that attaches to the iPod. A computerized voice tells runners how they're doing.
After a good sweat, exercisers can connect the MP3 player to a computer to transfer workout data to a new website, Nikeplus.com.
For extra inspiration, coaching sessions from famous athletes such as marathon runner Alberto Salazar and sporty music mixes will be available on the iTunes Music Store.
"Nike+iPod will change the way people run," Nike Chief Executive Mark Parker said in a statement.
Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs added, "The result is like having a personal coach or training partner motivating you every step of your workout."
One new shoe, the Nike Air Zoom Moire, will cost about $100 and will be compatible with the $29 kit, which is expected to debut in U.S. stores in about 60 days.
Nike said it planned to offer six more iPod-ready shoe styles this fall.
The Beaverton, Ore.-based company also plans to introduce a line of workout clothes and accessories geared toward the Nike+iPod Sport Kit.
The shoe already has one serious fitness buff on board: Lance Armstrong, a seven-time champion of the Tour de France bicycle race who is training to run in the New York City Marathon.
"It will take working out to a whole other level," Armstrong said in a news release.
Since Apple debuted the iPod 4 1/2 years ago, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has sold more than 50 million devices.
The uber-popular iPod also has spun off a $1.4-billion industry devoted to accessories, including iPod-compatible car speakers and a toy dog that dances to iPod tunes, according to NPD group, a market research company based in Port Washington, N.Y.
What's next, an iPod sensor for the fridge to head off those late-night snack attacks?