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Nike+iPod USB InterfaceThe clever folks over at Spark Fun Electronics have developed a small interface that connects the Nike+iPod receiver to your computer’s USB port. They claim this allows users to detect any Nike+iPod sensors that are within range. This idea was first discussed in the recent University of Washington research warning of Nike+iPod security concerns (you may have seen one of the 1,330,000 alarming news stories about it).

From the website:

This is a simple USB serial interface to mate with the Nike+iPod product. Use this breakout board to send and receive serial commands to the receiver and listen for individual foot pods. This will allow easy creation of proximity based projects and running/workout research. VCC (3.3V), ground, and iPod TX and RX are brought out to a standard header so that you can connect this board to a microcontroller.

Don’t forget to checkout the original tutorial!

We provide a simple example VB program that demonstrates how to initialize the receiver to listen for all foot pods in range and display the raw data including foot pod IDs. Any receiver can hear any foot pod – they don’t have to be mated in any way.
It turns out the foot pod will activate with minimal movement. We really want to attach these to our cats and make an ID controlled cat-door-lock system. ‘Are you Carlos? No? You can’t come in.’

This will surely raise the hackles of privacy advocates, but it should be remembered that the range of the Nike+iPod sensor is only about 40-60 feet, so nobody will be tracking you every movement with this. However, it does open up a wide range of interesting – if not entirely practical – possibilities. I’m looking forward to what hackers and hobbyists do with it.

The Nike+iPod Serial to USB Adapter is available for $24.99. Discounts are available for bulk orders.

Nike+iPod serial interface

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2 Responses to “Geeks and Stalkers: Nike+iPod Serial to USB Adapter”

  1. CR says:

    This is amusing I suppose as a geeky “can we do this?” test. Of course there are far more effective and easier ways to track someone. Cell signals have further detection ranges and then there’s using your eyes (or a pair of binoculars if you prefer). Neither of these limit you to tracking person only when they happen to be going for job (and assuming they actually use the Nike+ system).

  2. Podophile says:

    I agree. For people who are determined and tech-savvy enough to use this device, I think there are already a number of better stalking methods available. I personally like the auto-locking pet door idea, myself.