Per Wired’s coverage of a University of Washington grad student, you can in fact hack the device to track individuals with the RFID enabled sensor in their shoes. The Nike + iPod (I don’t have one, I use a Garmin Forerunner, which does not send any signals) works by having a powered RFID chip send information to the runner’s iPod, typically worn on an arm or belt. It provides data that’s translated into speed and mileage. My friends who have them like them a lot.
The problem, says Scott Saponas, is the the transmitter’s signal can be read by other iPods and thus other devices. He detailed a scenario whereby a reader at a doorframe could track an individual’s coming and going. He offers that Apple/Nike could make the device smarter and safer by having the pod only communicate with one reader.
I look at this from another perspective: how can race directors use the pods to track runners in races (with permission) so that they need not have the expense of renting chips?