Beaverton, Or — Several fitness equipment manufacturers as well as 24 Hour Fitness and Virgin Active Health Clubs are working with Nike Inc. and Apple Inc. to make Apple's iPod Nano compatible with cardio equipment, Nike and Apple recently announced. The technology is expected to be in more than 500 gyms worldwide this summer.

Manufacturers Life Fitness, Precor, Star Trac and Technogym are working with the companies to allow users to plug their iPod Nano into their treadmills, ellipticals and bikes directly, allowing them to track workouts and set goals. Users could then upload the information through iTunes to Nike's Web site, www.nikeplus.com, which would convert the workout data to CardioMiles. CardioMiles helps users set goals and participate in challenges with other runners and cardio equipment users. Nano users will also be able to buy specialty songs for their workouts.

“By delivering the Nike + iPod experience through our equipment, we're giving exercisers new and exciting tools to maximize their workouts,” says Bob Quast, vice president of product management for Life Fitness. “This groundbreaking tool is taking the exercise equipment experience beyond the fitness facility.”

More than a year ago, Nike and Apple formed a partnership to create Nike+ technology in which the wireless system allows some Nike running shoes embedded with a sensor to communicate with Nanos. Apple and Nike both say shifting their attention to health clubs was the next natural step, and both companies say there are plans to grow in the future.