Nike has launched its self-lacing trainers, which can be moulded to the shape of a user’s foot and are controlled via a smartphone device, according to a BBC report.
The new Nike Adapt BB will go on sale next month for $350 (£271), and will not require a button to activate the laces.
Nike said that the trainers are specifically designed for sports like basketball, and will contain ‘power laces’ that automatically tighten or loosen the shoes.
Nike launched their new shoes at an event on live-streaming platform, Twitch.
Self-lacing trainers designed for basketball
“We picked basketball as the first sport for Nike Adapt intentionally because of the demands that athletes put on their shoes,” says Eric Avar, Nike VP Creative Director of Innovation.
“During a normal basketball game, the athlete’s foot changes and the ability to quickly change your fit by loosening your shoe to increase blood flow and then tighten again for performance is a key element that we believe will improve the athlete’s experience.”
According to the report, when users put on the shoes, a custom motor and a gear will sense the tension required for the foot and adjust itself accordingly.
Users are also able to adjust the foot setting on the shoe for different moments in sports games, such as loosening the shoes during breaks and tightening them before they re-enter a game.
Those preferences can be stored via a smartphone app, which also records and stores data of the person wearing the shoes.
Nike confirmed at the end of 2018 that it was planning on releasing more self-lacing trainers in the future.
This is the second iteration of a smart-self-lacing shoe, first referred to in the film Back to Future Part II, after Nike released the HyperAdapt in 2016.
“Unnecessary complication and increase in cost”
Instead of inventing technology that is “complicated and expensive”, Guita Blake of Mindtree SVP, argues that tech innovators should instead focus on developing new technology that benefits society.
“The phone-controlled, self-lacing trainers are an example of unnecessary complication and increase in cost. Smart technology needs to be secure if the user is to benefit. Nobody wants to find out that their brand-new expensive trainers just got hacked.
“Technology is crucial to the improvement of our lives and focus should instead be directed towards products and services that actually make our lives better, not more complicated and expensive.”