The idea of automatic-lacing shoes was once the stuff of dreams — depicted in the future-inspired movie Back To The Future. But on March 16, world renown footwear manufacturer Nike announced their first auto-lacing shoes, which will be available for purchase later this year.
The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 aims to deliver an all-round better fit offering an ultimate solution to lacing preferences. Sports Illustrated reports that the shoe utilizes a combination of electrical, mechanical, and digital technology to create an “ideal” fit ridding the need to tie laces to a certain preference. Tiffany Beers, Senior Innovator, NIKE, Inc., and the project’s technical lead explains that the auto-lacing works through sensors inside the shoe that will “automatically tighten”.
When you step in, your heel will hit a sensor and the system will automatically tighten. Then there are two buttons on the side to tighten and loosen. You can adjust it until it’s perfect.
The sneaker, primarily aimed at athletes, will help to adjust to the unnecessary pressure caused by tight tying and slippage which can affect the performance during competitions. The personalized aspect of the shoe means that it works with the individual athlete.
Nike announced the potential for this technology to go even further, as discussed by Beers together with Tinker Hatfield – another collaborator on the project. They believe that one day in the future this technology can be used to develop a product that “changes as the athlete changes” and “senses what the body needs in real-time”.
It’s a platform. Something that helps envision a world in which product changes as the athlete changes. It is amazing to consider a shoe that senses what the body needs in real-time. That eliminates a multitude of distractions, including mental attrition, and thus truly benefits performance.
Although this technology requires manual adjustment, Nike state that this gives potential to creating the “once-fantastic concept of an automated, nearly symbiotic relationship between the foot and shoe.”
Nike say that the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 will be released at the end of 2016 and will initially only be available to Nike+ members.