How To Work a Nike Sensor

Written by pete danko
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How To Work a Nike Sensor
The Nike+ system relies on a sensor placed in or on the shoe. (running image by Byron Moore from Fotolia.com)

The Nike+ sensor gathers information about your running or walking and sends that information to a receiver, such as an iPod, iPhone or Nike SportsBand, allowing you to track your distance, time, pace and calories. The Nike+ system relies on placing or attaching the sensor correctly, whether wearing Nike shoes made especially for the device, or another brand. Once in place, the sensor works automatically, with just a few points to watch out for.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Shoes
  • Receiving device (iPod, iPhone, Nike SportsBand)

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Instructions

    Placing the Sensor

  1. 1

    Remove the insole of the left shoe of any pair of Nikes to access the compartment that holds the sensor. Place the sensor in the compartment with the logos facing up and then replace the insole. Your sensor is now in place and ready to operate.

  2. 2

    Attach the sensor to non-Nike shoes using one of any number of do-it-yourself methods: cut a sensor-size hole in the inner sole of the left shoe, mimicking the Nike shoe; slip the sensor under the laces on top of the tongue of your shoe; or duct-tape the sensor to the top of the shoe. The possibilities are endless, but keep several important points in mind to ensure accurate results: the sensor must be placed logo-side up on the left shoe; it must be fastened tightly in place; and it must be placed fairly parallel to the ground.

  3. 3

    Purchase a third-party holder to keep your sensor in place on non-Nike shoes if DIY doesn't suit you. According to Podophile.com, iPod accessory maker Marware was the first company to release a product that holds a Nike+ sensor to non-Nikes. The sensor fits in a pouch that is threaded under the shoelaces and held closed by Velcro. Dozens of manufacturers use variations on this theme. Studying product reviews can help you decide which Nike+ attachment device to purchase. Pay special attention to ease of use--particularly if you prefer to remove and reattach the device frequently--and assessments regarding how tightly the holder keeps the sensor in place.

    Operating the Sensor

  1. 1

    Move around to activate the sensor; it automatically begins transmitting when it senses movement, and ceases transmitting when it stops sensing movement.

  2. 2

    Turn off the sensor battery by pressing down the button on the side opposite the logos and holding the button down for three seconds. This should only be necessary when going through airport security and while on aeroplanes, according to Nike and Apple, as the battery goes into standby mode on its own when not in use. If you do turn the battery off, remember to turn it on before the next use. Nike and Apple recommend doing so by pressing down on the same button, using a paper clip or pen.

  3. 3

    Purchase a new Nike+ sensor when you receive a message that the battery is running low. According to Nike, the battery has a life of about 1,000 hours of "active use," and will send a low-battery signal to your receiver approximately two weeks before it runs out of energy. While Nike and Apple say the battery is not replaceable and a new sensor must be purchased, some users report undertaking a laborious process involving cutting, soldering and gluing to remove and replace the battery.

Tips and warnings

  • If you followed the recommendations for placing your sensor and still believe your readings are inaccurate, follow the process on your receiver for calibrating the Nike+.
  • Your Nike+ can work with more than one sensor, allowing you to switch between shoes without having to move the sensor back and forth. You will need to link the new sensor to your receiver each time you switch, doing so by following the instructions on the receiver.
  • Many Nike+ users track usage history by linking their receiving device to NikeRunning.com (see Resources).
  • Nike and Apple say the sensor "has been designed for active outdoor use, so it can withstand sweat, puddles and soggy shoes." However, some users report problems when using the sensor with non-Nike+ shoes, and advise being sure to protect the sensor from excessive exposure to water.

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