Nike Shoe Check-in Plugin for Foursquare?

(UPDATE 8/30/2010: Nike+ check-in public launch as well as build your own!)

Nike+iPod sensors are small, flat wireless motion detectors that chirp a unique serial number (among other data), to tell your iPod how many steps you have taken, and at what pace. Its a great way to stay in shape.

However, they also make great presence detectors. They all transmit on a single channel, unencrypted, for about 60 feet in the 2.4GHz band. List price? $19.99, or $29.99 for shoe sensor and radio. It also looks kinda trendy too.

One really annoying thing about Foursquare or any other venue check-in application, is having to remember to actually check-in when you arrive. Wouldn’t it be a whole lot better if it worked automatically?

My system could eventually plug into something like If you are not familiar with “”, it is a way of providing your MAC addresses for your WiFi laptop and phone to check in for you at the venue when you are present. Currently, it is limited to just a few venues now. But instead of having to lug around your laptop, or connect to the local wifi, you could also have your Nike shoes (or sensor in generic shoes) check in for you.

The backend device would need to be located in the venue, but it is internet-independent, low power, and can be located anywhere in the world.

Currently, its on an electronics bread board and rather bulky, and it talks to Foursquare directly…but it (mostly) works.

Here are some screen shots of my first check-in using this system:

UPDATE: Here is the GSM Nike+ device in all of its breadboard glory:

11 Responses to “Nike Shoe Check-in Plugin for Foursquare?”

  1. HyperHacker says:

    That’s a neat application, but something about the idea of a tracking device in my shoe which broadcasts a plaintext unique ID to everyone nearby seems unsettling.

  2. [...] interesting hack for your Nike+ shoes involves Foursquare. Casey Halverson’s setup lets him to automatically check-in to a venue by just walking in the front door. How he does this [...]

  3. [...] Casey Halverston  “hacked” his shoes so they automatically check him in on Foursquare. [...]

  4. sleephero says:

    Can you put up instructions how to do this myself?

  5. Remington says:

    A few researchers at the UW CSE department have written papers about the Nike+ “plaintext” broadcasts.

  6. [...] inside out and reprogram it in ways that open up new opportunities. One of these projects is Casey Halverson’s setup which lets him to automatically check-in to a venue on Foursquare by just walking in the front [...]

  7. Andres Moran says:

    I think this idea is genius. The main problem is found in the statement, “the backend device would need to be located in the venue.” That’s a tremendous hurdle to overcome, as evidence by the large amount of funding Shopkick has had to raise.

  8. [...] seu blog, Casey explica a traquitana toda por trás, que é simples aparentemente, apesar de ainda [...]

  9. [...] has been a lot of recent talk about a blog post I made earlier this year, so after working a few late nights with Eric Butler at Metrix [...]

  10. admin says:

    @sleephero yes, i plan on making a post in the next couple of days explaining the process.

    @Andres Moran Hardware costs can be significantly lowered (already have taken a big stab that that), but more importantly, if the device somehow provides ROI to the venue, then it wouldn’t matter as much.

  11. [...] Casey Halverston »hacked« his Nike+ shoes so they automatically check him in on Foursquare. Via mobilebehavior. 0 Like     [...]

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