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Nike has announced a new range of digitally-enabled footwear that uses interactive mobile applications to track and measure the wearer’s movement.
This extends the existing Nike+ product line, which has to date created a community of over 6m users.
The Nike+ Basketball shoes measure how high, how hard and how quick players play during each game.
This data is transmitted to the user's smartphone, which can then be compared against other users and shared through social media.
Miami Heat player LeBron James explains more in the video below, release by Nike yesterday.
Additionally, another new product called Nike+ Training turns your training routine into a game by creating a training companion.
It features insights and workouts from some of the world’s top athletes including Rafa Nadal and Manny Pacquiao, all of which are intended to motivate users to train harder.
Here's another short clip, taken from Nike's YouTube channel, to show how it works.
The announcement follows the recent launch of the Nike+ FuelBand – a wristband that tracks movement so users can set daily workout targets – and a range of lightweight performance products designed for the track and the basketball court. There's also Fitbit and TicTrac, which do similar things, both providing what's being called 'personal analytics'.
The timing of Nike's new products is fairly predictable, since the new footwear range available to buy almost a month to the day before the London Olympics kicks off.
But the integration of digital and mobile is particularly interesting: this helps drive engagement and brand loyalty, and as well as giving the wearer information on their workout Nike collected valuable user data.
The social element of building a community of ‘athletes’ is also a great marketing tool, and will presumably encourage repeat purchases since users want to remain part of the community when theu consider a replacement purchase for worn-out shoes.
It might even help people see past the fact that they are paying $149 for a wristband that tells you how high you can jump.