Nike to Make All Shoes Compatible With iPod

Shoe manufacturer, Nike has confirmed plans to make all its shoes compatible with Apple's MP3 player, iPod, before the end of 2007.

The comment was made by Nike president and chief executive Mark Parker along with its third-quarter results, saying it had a soft year with some specialty mall retailers. The company said it is poised to make major changes in retail this year with the help of leading retail partners that will build strength.

The Nike+iPod technology, which uses the iPod to record calories burnt and distance covered, via a sensor in the Nike shoes, has been widely criticized in the recent past. Researchers at the University of Washington have claimed that the product can double up as a tracking device, posing a serious security threat to the owner.

The sensor in the shoe emits a signal detectable by any compatible receiver within a range of up to 60 feet, even after the workout has ended. This means, the user can be monitored and tracked easily, by a variety of simple computers. According to the researchers, the device is potentially dangerous, as it lets thieves or stalkers track their victims and plan their attack. A thief could even track when people enter or leave their homes or a stalker could hide receivers near a home, a gym and a restaurant, for example, to closely monitor his or her target's movements.

Moreover, a computer with wireless Internet access can record multiple users' whereabouts, send the information to a central server and plot people's locations using Google Maps. The computer can then be programmed to communicate with the person doing the tracking, with an e-mail or text message.

The security breach was brought to light after Scott Saponas, a doctoral student in computer science at University of Washington, posted his report online.

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Updated Date: Mar 28, 2007 14:00 PM