TomTom and NIKE team up to motivate runners

If this is the year you plan to run a marathon (or indeed run around the block in a bid to get fit), here’s a gadget designed to make the experience a bit more interesting.

Sports legend Nike has teamed up with satnav specialist TomTom to produce the NIKE+ Sportwatch GPS. Unfortunately it has just been released at CES in Las Vegas and won’t actually be available until April, but as it offers all kinds of nifty motivational ideas, it could be just the thing when your new year impetus is about to run out.

Nike-TomTom-watch

So what can it do? Well, first, it has been designed to be simple to use, with just three buttons and a tap screen for navigation (useful if you simply find running on its own rather taxing on the mind).

While you’re running, the clever device will be capturing your location, and showing you useful information such as your pace, distance covered and calories burned. This happens thanks to a shoe-based sensor that delivers pace and distance data while the GPS works on your location.

The watch can also store your run history so that you can compare times and distances, and your personal records including those imported from nikeplus.com, and is compatible with a heart rate monitor.

But there’s more. Remember we spoke about its motivational qualities? Well, it recognises your own personal records (or ‘Attaboys’ as they like to call them) and will remind you to go running if you haven’t logged an outing for five days. It also offers post run encouragement and acknowledgement (and unlike your mates is unlikely to suggest you go down the pub for a swift pint afterwards as a ‘reward’).

Back at home or the office after your run, plug into a PC or Mac using the built-in USB connector and your info will be transferred to www.nikeplus.com, which offers runners GPS mapping, total miles, pace and elevation data for their most recent run.

For extra motivation, if you’re taking part in any challenges Nike+ Challenges, Nike+ Goals, and Nike+ Coach programs, your data is automatically entered there.

Each run is mapped using TomTom technology, and includes route notes, elevation and length. You can also find the perfect route by searching the catalogue by location, length, difficulty, and even landmarks.

And the price for this sporty technical wizardry? Not confirmed as yet but expect it to be somewhere between £130 and £190.

TWIG: Accountz, ecocase, eCards and Thumb Exercises

The Week in Gadgets

No-one likes accounting, even if you at a super hip Z on the end like UK based accounting software firm Accountz have done. What people do like, however is apps, and Accountz have thoughtfully combined the two in their new release Mobile Accountz Lite iPhone app – which allows you to take control of your finances, spending and expenses whilst on the move. You can upload transactions Over-The-Air to any software that uses OFX or CSV files. You can also just handle everything within the app.

Accountz

On first launch things are a little barren – there are prettier looking apps out there. But not for accountancy. The simply, focused approach actually benefits the app once you start using it – it’s easy to see which account is which and get at “state of the nation” view of all your accounts there and then – like an inverse calorie counter that helps to keep your wallet fat. Your first move after setting everything up should probably be noting the £2.99 the app costs. If you are serious about your finances – and in the current economic climate it makes sense to be – then you should give Accountz a look.

Like it or loathe it, the Christmas holiday season is slowly sneaking up on us. Unless you work in technology journalism, in which case it will have been forced upon you since mid-summer. Insanity. Anyway, in the UK there is a Christmas rush for greetings cards, something that eCards Media are keen to take advantage of to stress test their new print-on-demand greetings cards service. “But wait” you say, “Print-on-demand greetings cards… that’s MoonPig’s game.” And you would be right. However eCard’s Media are confident they can take on MoonPig, undercutting them on price with cards at 99p, compared with MoonPig’s £2.99. If that wasn’t enough, eCard’s Media, who are responsible for the Postcards app we briefly mentioned here are giving away 10,000 free greetings cards. Still not impressed? They are working on putting the Moon onto a Stick. Their system allows you to put digital images onto glossy A5 cards and then send them the same day via the UK post. Interested? Head to www.ecards.co.uk and pop in OneFreeCard to give it a whirl.

If you spend as much time playing with gadgets as I do then you will be aware of the increase stress modern life, with its tablets and smartphones is placing on the thumbs. Even hardcore hitchhikers sympathise. GadgetHelpline.com, whose name is self-explanatory have produced a little exercise video for anyone suffering from Thumb Fatigue. Have a peek. Why wouldn’t you.

The other problem with smartphones is how filthy they can be – with 18 times more bacteria than on the average toilet seat according to a recent Which? report. If that’s caught your eye then you might be interested in the new ECOSKIN case for the iPhone 4.

ecoskin

iPhone cases are as numerous as the stars but what makes Anokimobi’s ecoskin special is not only the high-grade recycled plastic that it is manufactured from, but as a result of their teaming up with BioMaster, the surface which is impregnated with silver ions to reduce bacteria levels. Unlike diamond encrusted iPhones, that are a testament to modern waste, the ecoskin is a green wonder, with both packaging and the phone cover made from recycled materials. Get yours in pink, black or clear from here.