By Richard Arneson
Living and working in the age of IoT is nothing short of fascinating. The number of new IoT devices created each day overloads the press release wires. And with wide-scale 5G wireless on the horizon, it’s only going to pick up steam. There will be virtually no facet of our everyday lives that isn’t affected by it.
Not to be left out of the IoT buzz, Nike, the manufacturer of all things worn in the name of athletics, introduced its latest smart product to the marketplace at this month’s CES Show in Las Vegas. No, it doesn’t track heart rates or blood pressure; it doesn’t calculate reps or steps. It simply bends over─virtually, of course─to tie your sneakers.
It’s been several years since Nike first suspected that consumers were simply dog-tired of tying their shoelaces. But they’ve taken that suspicion a step further. Their latest iteration of the self-tying sneaker is the Nike Adapt BB shoe, which can be secured, tightened and adjusted with your smart device. It’s the next evolution of two (2) shoes Nike released in 2016: the 89 AirMag, which self-laced and even featured lighted soles (it was a limited-edition shoe based on the ones Marty McFly wore in the 1989 film Back to the Future II), and the HyperAdapt 1.0, which accomplished the same feat, but utilized more traditional laces. Both served as market test balloons. Apparently, they both stayed afloat, at least long enough for Nike to determine the public was ready for a smart sneaker.
While the company promises additional self-lacing shoes will be released later this year, the Nike Adapt BB is currently the only one (1) that can be controlled through a downloaded app. The Adapt BB is, naturally, Bluetooth-enabled and waits at the ready to find out how its owner would like their sneakers laced up before hitting the court. Just think, your basketball shoes will house a tiny motor to cinch down your shoes.
Now for the numbers
The Adapt BB, which made its debut yesterday at two (2) basketball games in Europe, will go on sale in the UK on February 17th. They’re priced at £299.95, or approximately $387 U.S. dollars, and each charge (yes, the sneakers need to be charged) lasts about two (2) weeks.
What Nike hasn’t addressed is what you’d imagine afflicts athletes whose height rivals that of a Redwood─fat-fingering. Imagine LeBron James, who makes almost a half a million bucks per game, sitting out a playoff series because he accidentally over-cinched his Adapt BBs just before his smartphone went dead. Maybe the shoe’s 2.0 version will be able detect if circulation has been cut off.
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