KNOW YOUR TECH breaks down the scientific technology used in your favorite sneakers and activewear. Let’s demystify your next purchase: today’s technology is Nike+. The comprehensive fitness-tracking collection features a number of bands, watches, apps, and sensors which can be used as stand-alone devices or combined for further stat coverage.

What is it? Introduced in 2006, Nike+ is a device and software which measure an athlete's progress over a range of areas, including distance, pace, duration, steps, calories burned, and much more. With the introduction of Nike Fuel, each movement an athletes makes throughout the day is turned into a measurable quantity, which can then be compared with other users for competition and used as an extra push to meet personal goals. Many Nike+ products, such as the SportWatch, are also GPS-enabled, so you can literally map your progress.

How does it work? With Nike+ running products (SportWatch GPS, Running App, and SportBand), users are able to track their distance, pace, and duration of their runs. In basketball products (LeBron X, Hyperdunk 2012), Nike+ functions similarly, but is specific to the hardwood by tracking how high you jump, how quick you move, and how hard you play. From there, statistics can be uploaded to Nike's online community,  which became the biggest online running network just a year after its release.

Notable Products: FuelBand, SportWatch GPS, LeBron X SportPack, Hyperdunk 2012 SportPack

Bottom Line: Whether running, hooping, or just going about your day-to-day activities, Nike+ is your solution for progress tracking.

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