The Nike+ hardware is obviously an interesting device. We haven’t heard a whole lot about hacking one until now, but [Dimitry] has decided to change that. Many would assume that the data transmitted off of these sensors is quite simple, however there’s a bit more than meets the eye. Amongst other challenges, all the data packets coming out of the transceiver are encrypted. [Dimitry] claims to have decoded this data stream and made use of it.
This hack also outlines how one can use this without the stock iPod receiver using a 2.4 GHz chip from Sparkfun. A lot of work has been done to figure out how these packets are decoded and the process one goes through to do this is well outlined in this post. This could serve as a good example for those wanting to figure out similar devices.
One thing [Dimitry] hasn’t done yet is release the source code for this hack. He cites some ethical issues that might not seem obvious on first glance, including the ability to follow someone in a crowd or simply jamming their data. He does add though that if you have a good reason for wanting it, to simply email him. We’re looking forward to what [Dimitry] comes up with in the future using this setup!
Runners that wear shoes with the Nike+ system can upload GPS data about their runs to the proprietary website. If you’ve been using this for a while you may be reluctant to switch to another service that works with the hardware because you don’t want to lose the historical data. Faced with this issue, [Robert Kosara] developed some software that can scrape Nike+ data. Not only did he write the code, but he also threw up a website that shows how well it works. EagerFeet lets you copy and paste your Nike+ ID for mapping on Google Maps.
Data is scraped from Nike+ and assembled as GPX files, which are backups of GPS data. From there you can use it for whatever you like. Since the code is available in a Git repository it’s easy to depend on it with your own projects, and still get updates if the scraping system needs to be changed in the future. Even if you don’t want to use the GPX files in your own projects, they can be imported on some third party exercise tracking sites if that’s what you’re interested in.
Of course you could try to pull the data straight off of your iPod.
[Thomas] found a paper from 2006 that describes using the Nike + iPod system as inexpensive tracking devices. Yep, it’s old as dirt but we think it’s fascinating reading! [Scott Saponas] and his fellow authors take a hard look at the lack of security in the system in a twelve-page PDF. They cover several different ways to capture and track one of the $29 tags in someone’s shoe, including using the Gumstix reader above, or a slightly modified 3G iPod. If the sensors are not removed or manually switched off when not in use they can be picked up by any RF reader within range. Because the tags are cheap and available, one could be planted on an unsuspecting victim James-Bond-style. Maybe this is what prompted Apple’s half-hearted attempt to restrict hacking the devices to do things like unlock doors.
Of course if you don’t want to do the reading you could download their video presentation or just stream it.