How the Nike+ SportBand Works

Nike+ SportBand Software and Apps

We touched on the SportBand's simple LCD display on the hardware page, but it's obviously a key element of the software experience on the exercise tracker. There's not much to do on the SportBand itself, other than toggle between the display modes to see information about your current exercise session. The real Nike+ experience comes into play on a computer or mobile device. Nike offers a piece of software called Nike+ Connect for Mac and Windows. When the SportBand USB drive is plugged into a computer, it will dump its exercise data into that software, giving you access to charts, graphs, Nike+ friends and personal goals.

Nike+ information is available online, as well, making it accessible from any computer or mobile device with a Web connection. The software is free to download and use -- there's no membership fee for Nike+. The Web service allows you to set goals for exercise routines, like running faster or farther. It will help you keep track of calories burned and calorie goals. Nike+ also includes map data to plan runs and find easier or more challenging routes, depending on your preferences.

While you get immediate feedback from the Nike+ SportBand via the LCD as you run, you'll need to use the computer software or Web site to see data on previous workouts or interact with the Nike+ community. Some of Nike's other sports training devices, including the SportWatch GPS and the FuelBand, offer more functionality on their displays. We'll tackle those software differences on the next page.