Health conscious enthusiasts who wanted to be "fit for life" were finding it difficult to locate performance monitoring gear that met compatible high standards in existing markets.
Ultra-marathon runner Jim Walker was frustrated with the absence of a reliable way to measure distance so he could get off the track for his workouts. We combined his expertise in the field with Ron Milner's ultrasonic distance measuring technique and ADL's electronics and design experience to build the perfect device.
Walker merged with our team of engineers for the purpose of creating an easy-to-use device that could serve the strict requirements of its users and be effectively marketed nationwide. Called the Monitor, the concept was accepted by Nike, Inc.
Nike was new to electronics and extremely wary of tarnishing their image. We had to develop the function and reliability of the product to a fine edge for Nike so there could never be a doubt that this was a quality product.
We fine tuned the accuracy from our initial specs of 10% to, in fact, less than 5% where often a runner using the Monitor will get the mile report within a few feet of the finish line on the track!
All the critical distance measuring circuitry went into a combined analog/digital CMOS standard cell chip. This allowed all the circuit features we wanted and also provided protection for the project against imitators.
ADL also designed one of the most accurate pulse pickups in the business for Nike to include with the Monitor.
We made three trips to Hong Kong for Nike to work with our manufacturer to confirm that all the components and designs were of the highest quality and to ensure that thorough testing procedures were implemented.
Less than a year after Nike turned on the project, our Hong Kong manufacturers delivered production prototypes: a lightweight, compact unit that fits around the waist including three IC's, one of which was designed at ADL. Through small, comfortable headphones, the Nike Monitor's digitized voice tells the wearer measurements of pulse, pace, distance and time on an ongoing basis.
Ultra-marathoner, Jim Walker, is completely satisfied with the Nike Monitor:
"I like it because I can put it on, go out in the mountains and it tells me everything I need to know."
: Nike Monitor is a trademark of
THE NIKE MONITOR PRODUCT IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE ANYWHERE.
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