Basically, you've got an accelerometer in your shoe and it's wirelessly transmitting data to your iPod for viewing on the screen, voice feedback through the ears, and later syncing with the the Nike+ website.
I know that doesn't sound like much, but trust me, it's worth it. I just recently completed the Utica 15K Boilermaker in record time. Record time for me, not for the Boilermaker. 1:23:46 was the time (5:57 better than last year). In any case, I need to do a lot more training next time and get that number way down. Nike + iPod will help.
Of course this meant that I had to run out and buy an iPod Nano (1 GB) because that's the only iPod that the Sport Kit will work with. I passed it off as buying it for Molly. Now hopefully she won't fight me over it when I want to go for a run. The other purchase they try to get you to make is that of the too expensive Nike + shoes that have a compartment under the left insole specifically designed to hold the sensor. Don't be fooled! You don't need the shoes for this to work. I'm using a key pocket attached to the bottom of my laces (which looks like this only less dorky). Nice and secure and by all accounts just as accurate as having it under your fat foot.
I finally received the Sport Kit via FedEx today. It was amazingly easy to set up. Plug in the wireless receiver to the bottom of the iPod and instantly you have a Nike + iPod menu to choose your workout, adjust your settings, or view your workout history right on your iPod. I took it out to the track and calibrated it at 400 meters. It was extremely accurate on my subsequent 3 mile run. It was a great run for me. The female voice feedback was actually very encouraging and peppy. It was almost like she really wanted me to reach my goal. At any time you can get the voice feedback to tell you your total time, total distance, and current pace by clicking the center button. That was all great, but that's only half the fun.
Next you take your iPod home and sync it up. iTunes prompts you to upload your running data automatically to the Nike + website. This site is a thing of beauty. Check it out if you don't believe me. You can view the site without having to sign up for an account. It's all Flash, if you're into that sort of thing. All your data is there, presented to you in gorgeous charts and graphs. You can set goals, challenge virtual runners, check out your records, and view your full running history. Nice!
Here's where I'm at:
1 run for a total of 3.03 miles with an average pace of 7'41" per mile. My fastest 1 mile is 7'35".
Hopefully I can bump those numbers up (or down as the case may be) shortly.
When all else fails try ... running.