Nike aims to innovate wearables with virtual 'Missions' game and startup Accelerator program

With the recent resurrection of Jawbone's Up, as well as news of Nintendo's planned Wii U FitMeter, it's become clear that competition in wearables is just now heating up. And now Nike, one of the forerunners of the category, is reaching outside of the box with two new initiatives to propel adoption and expand usability of its activity-tracking devices. Announced as a teaser via its Youtube channel today, NikeFuel Missions -- a virtual game -- appears designed to motivate users by translating their collected movement data (read: NikeFuel points) into currency for escape from a gaming world "conquered by cold." Not much else has been made known about the title, but according to the company's Facebook page, further details will be revealed tomorrow, December 11th. Curious parties can head to that destination site now to sign-up for updates and register to be one of the first in line to play -- but be warned, you'll need a Nike+ device to participate.

Further building upon its work in the wearables space, Nike+'s also announced the creation of a three-month long startup program, dubbed Accelerator. Set to take place in Portland, Oregon this coming March, the initiative will bring together 10 startups for an "immersive, mentor-driven" experience that aims to foster innovation and integration with its Nike+ tech. The deadline for consideration is this February 3rd, so if you think your small company could benefit from a swoosh of support, there's still plenty of time to apply at the source below. And while you're at it, be sure to click past the break for a preview of the virtual gaming goods Nike has in store.