June 28, 2012 BY John Kim
Tomorrow, Nike will officially launch Nike+ Basketball and Nike+ Training in a choice selection of footwear specifically engineered to carriage the Nike+ technology. The all-new Nike Lunar Hyperdunk+, Nike Lunar TR1+, and Nike WMNS Lunar Hyperworkout+ are the three pinnacle designs that will feature the Nike+ Technology, but before the global launch of this next-level amalgam of performance and tech-y goodness, Sneaker News was given the opportunity to put Nike+ Basketball/Training to the test. Earlier today, under the merciless New York City sun blasting an even 90 degrees, we hooked up with Nike Basketball for a Thursday late-afternoon happy-hour session over at the freshly opened Rivington Court in the Lower East Side to measure – and raise – our game.
A quick overview of Nike+: the embedded module is comprised of four pressure sensors localized at the heel, toe, and medial and lateral points, and centralized by a 3-axis accelerometer-equipped ‘puck’ at the midfoot. Using bluetooth technology, Nike+ hooks up to the Nike+ App (available free of charge right now for Apple iOS and Android), and operates for up to thirty days on one full charge. Sync your Nike+ fitted kicks with your phone and leave it securely in your bag or even your car, and like Ron Popeil’s Showtime Rotisserie Oven, “set it and forget it” while letting the fat drip away. Right off the bat, we were strapped with the USA Hyperdunks and led by Nike+ Experience Director Ricky Engelberg through three thirty-second drills in the standing vertical, simulated jump-rope, and ‘Foot Fires’; one major component of Nike+ Technology is that it really hones in on the ‘inner athlete’ and coerces the insatiable desire to perform at one’s best, and when comparing scores with the millions of Nike+ community members (including a number top-flight Nike athletes like LeBron James, Rafael Nadal, and Allyson Felix), the heart of competition begins to swell. Even during this casual testing session, we were compelled to go the extra mile in the jump-rope drill. LeBron, we’re comin’ for ya.
From Nike+ Training we moved on to the basketball court, where we were put through some basic drills by Team Nike coach D-Trained, whose impressive credentials are matched only by his giant frame. During the Basketball session is where Nike+ presented a unique ability that could potentially revolutionize athletic training at it’s core; Nike+ not only recorded physical data such as vertical jumps and duration of steps, but it measured the oh-so-valuable ‘intangibles’ and accurately placed on paper the athlete’s non-numerical output, from which the data could be extrapolated to tabulate the once intangible ‘umph’ put forth by an athlete. The idea of “measuring the immeasurable” was a concept pulled from the proven methods of legendary basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski (spelling his name correctly definitely #counts), so in just a few short days, he’ll be able to use that information when he and Team USA Mens Basketball take on the world in the upcoming World Basketball Festival and the Olympic Games. For us, we were able to see our results projected onto the massive LED screen in the same manner you would see on your Nike+ equipped phone.
So is the world ready for the next level of Nike+ Technology? The answer is a resounding “yes”, simply because what Nike+ is offering has been in demand by the sporting world for years. In fact, the foundationary concept of Nike+, which is the translation of biological data into readable feedback, has been in place for years, and the demand was clearly made evident when millions of runners embraced Nike+ when it debuted in 2006. That community expanded further and farther when Nike introduced the FuelBand this past February and coined its universal currency as ‘Fuel’, but the reach of Nike+ Basketball and Training is unfathomable as it banks on the limitless potential and will of the athlete. However cliche it may sound, the possibilities with Nike+ are endless. It was certainly an eye-opening experience from beginning to end, so check out the gallery of what Nike Basketball had in store for us below and be sure to join the Nike+ community when the Nike Lunar Hyperdunk+, Lunar TR1+, and Lunar Hyperworkout+ launch tomorrow morning.