Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Second Open Letter to Phil Knight: We Are Breaking Up!


I am writing to tell you that as soon as I can afford it, you and I are finished!  That's right, I am done with you and I am throwing all of your things out on the street!  I had gone with the idea that the Nike+ sportband was an affordable alternative in the large market of fitness watches.  And much the same way I feel about Wal-Mart, I have found that "affordable" means "crap".

In my first letter, i described some shortcomings of the sportband that I thought could be improved upon.  After several more months, those shortcomings have evolved into "pain-in-my-rearend" dysfunctions.

1. Compatibility with Polar Wearlink+ heart monitor

After my visit with a fitness specialist, it was suggested that I begin to workout using a heart rate monitor.  I was excited to find out that the sportband had a compatible appliance.  Since I started using the monitor, the flood gates of complaints have opened up.  HR exercise requires that I run at differing paces to maintain particular HR zones.  These changing paces are not recognized by the foot sensor, so now when I run slower for zones 1 and 2, the mileages are much lower than actuality. At first I figure, "No problem, I will just recalibrate the sportband for these runs."  Au contraire, mon frere!  The sport band cannot be recalibrated for runs that use a HR monitor!  Why, you ask?  I don't have the foggiest idea!  I assume it has something to do with calorie calculation by HR and elapsed time instead of weight and distance traveled.  But no matter what, if I cannot recalibrate the distances, I am losing a ton of miles and the other functions of the watch are completely lost.  Essentially, this lack of accurate distance calculation makes the watch a $120 ($60 a piece for the sportband and HR transmitter) HR monitor, which is not that great of a deal! 

Now, the sportsband won't even recognize the HR signal from the transmitter!  I see this as one of 2 problems.  First, the transmitter needs a new battery.  That means that the battery on this transmitter lasts about 3 months!  Are you freaking kidding me?!  My kids toys last longer than that!  At $14 per battery, the affordability of this system becomes very suspect!  You might say that this is a Polar problem, and has nothing to do with Nike.  I say that since this is the only HR transmitter compatible with the sportband, it's your freaking problem!  The second possible problem is that the HR receiver in the sportband has stopped working, at which point I will stomp up and down on this piece of crap, cursing the day it ever walked into my life.

2.  Software compatibility

Initially, I was enthused by the user-friendly Nike+ website and its many functions, coaching, and games.  But now after several months, I have found the use of this website and software very exclusive.  I cannot import the data from my runs into any other website, nor can I upload the data from the sportband onto any other website!  This stinks!  I like the Nike website, but it is not the only fitness website in the world!  In fact there are approximately 1 gagillion other websites with which I would really like to use my fitness data, but alas I cannot.  This has become most frustrating in the last month, as I have attempted to raise money for charity by entering fitness information into another website.  This website gives greater "points" to exercises that are entered from a technology rather than hand entering, because of the possibility of cheating.  But since your technology is incompatible with their website, the kids in Africa are just going to have to wait a little longer for their new bike!  Thanks a lot!

I have been researching far and wide for new fitness technology in watches.  While you still tempt me with the new Nike+ Sport Watch, I no longer have faith in your work!  I don't really know why I ever had faith in it in the first place?!  All of it matters very little, as soon as I can afford it or the holidays get here, I am getting a Garmin 305.  I wish I could say that it has been fun, but it hasn't!  I think we had a few good times, but maybe I was fooling myself.  I will conclude with what many of my ex-girlfriends have said to me, "God, the sex was AMAZING, but I hope I never see you again!"



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