One of the more innovative applications of technologies we’ve seen in recent years is a simple one: applying data to athletic workouts.
There are many solutions that have cropped up over the years to do this but it took sports behemoth Nike to roll it out in their stores (and integrate it with their shoes) for it to really gain traction.
It’s called “Nike+” and it involves the placement of a sensor underneath the footbed of your Nike running shoe. (Adidas has a rival product called MiCoach.) When it launched, the company partnered with Apple to use its iPods as display devices; now the company has its own wristwatches and the like to surface the data.
It’s extremely cool to collect data about where you’ve run, how long it took and where you can improve — especially over time, as each individual run becomes part of a collective historical database — but the neat thing about gathering this data is seeing it in an even bigger picture.
For example, what if you were to look at the runs of every Nike+ user in New York City?
The folks at YesYesNo developed an installation for Nike’s retail stores to display just that. With a little help from the technicians at DualForces, YesYesNo visualized a year’s worth of runs uploaded to the Nike+ website.
With custom software, the installation plays back runs in three cities: New York, London and Tokyo. It’s a very cool thing — you can see tens of thousands of people running along city streets. To mix it up, the installation also follows individual runs.
Here’s a look: