Apple’s line of solid-state iPods have long been popular for exercise and sports. The iPod shuffle and nano are shockproof and have a longer battery life than the higher capacity hard drive models, making them a great choice for running, hiking, and general active use. The nano can even be used with the Nike iPod interface which transmits data from your shoe to the iPod’s display. Very cool!
So if your shoe can talk to your iPod, why not your watch? Introducing the Timex iControl IRONMAN watch. As you can see from the picture, it looks just like a standard 50-lap IRONMAN, but adds a few more buttons. Combined with a small receiver that plugs into the iPod, the iControl allows you to control your iPod from your watch up to ten feet away!
I can see some serious potential in this. For instance, if you have your ipod strapped to your waist or upper arm, it’s easier to place one hand on the watch while running as opposed to groping for the iPod itself. Or if you’ve got your iPod stashed in your backpack with just the headphone cable emerging, you can still drive the tunes. Another possibility is if you, like me, use your iPod while in your car, the Timex iControl gives you a cool remote control which you’re not likely to misplace. An additional benefit is that leaving your iPod out of sight, especially when combined with a pair of generic non-white ear buds, reduces the changes of theft since nobody will even know you have an iPod.
According to the Timex iControl home page, the iControl is compatible with both the 1st and 2nd generation iPod nano, and the 5th generation iPod video. For more details as to how it works, check out the manual (PDF).
As you’d expect, the watch portion of the iControl remains at Timex’s highly functional standard, with a readable face and a long list of features: time, alarms, countdown timer, Indiglo, interval timers, etc. Visually, the new buttons are not obvious, so the iControl can easily pass for a standard IRONMAN. However, if you want to stand out, Timex offers the iControl in five colors: blue, green, orange, black, gray, and silver.
If reaching for your watch is more convenient for you than reaching for your iPod, the Timex iControl is available now for $125, so go have a look. Personally, I love the gadget factor, and would like being able to leave my iPod in my backpack while on public transit. Count me in.
Update: Read the Timex iControl review.
By Paul Hubbard