The future is here. Nike finally released a consumer Marty Mcfly version of the iconic self-lacing sneakers that were sported by Marty, the time-warped teenager played by Michael J. Fox in the Back to the Future movie series.
Nike had already developed the real-life versions of the self-lacing Air Mag sneakers from Back to the Future, and spent the last few years teasing the public about them, but the company never intended them for the mass market. Late last year, Nike gifted a pair to Michael J. Fox, and even announced plans to sell them in extremely limited quantities, but that never came to be.
On Wednesday, the company unveiled Nike HyperAdapt 1.0, a new platform for adaptive lacing. The company said the new platform is the culmination of years of research in digital, electrical and mechanical engineering for the development which began in 2013.
?When you step in, your heel will hit a sensor and the system will automatically tighten,? explained Tiffany Beers, NIKE, Inc.?s Senior Innovator and the project?s technical lead. ?Then there are two buttons on the side to tighten and loosen. You can adjust it until it?s perfect.?
The company, however, announced that The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 will be available only to members of its fitness portal Nike+ starting on Holiday 2016 and will have three color options. There is no information regarding the pricing of the latest sneakers.
To become a Nike+ member and sign up for notifications about the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0, go to Nike.com.
How it works?
John Hoke, Nike?s vice president of design, explained to the Wired that the new sneakers use a battery-powered series of pulleys that cinch the throat of the shoe, instead of the traditional lacing system. So when the wearer steps inside the shoe, sensors at the bottom register his or her weight and position of the foot inside. ?It reads if you?re heavy on your heel or heavy on your forefoot,? Hoke says.
Then series of tiny pulleys contract the throat of the shoe tightly around the foot by winding thread around a spool. The tightness of shoe can then be manually adjusted by pushing plus or minus buttons on the left side of the shoe. Holding it down for two seconds allows the user to remove his foot by loosening the shoe fully.
After a couple of wears, the shoes will automatically adjust to your preferred setting according to Hoke. The shoes though are required to be charged since they are battery operated and could comfortably last for a two-week period with a single charge. It takes about three hours for a full charge and the lighting system indicates if you need to charge them.
Nike eventually hopes to make the HyperAdapt 1.0 sneakers much more futuristic with micro-adjustments automated and reactive to biometric data of the foot instead of manual control. In fact, Nike is looking forward to develop this technology by gathering biometric data that can be fed into an entire adaptable, reactive ecosystem of Nike wearables.