New App for Self-Tying Shoelaces Comes Undone

Shoes are to our feet as tyres are to a car. Automologist MAC brings us the deets on an “autonomous” feature that Nike has introduced to the world.

The Launch of the Adapt BB, self-tying shoes that apparently don’t.

Okay, I know this blog is supposed to be about the study of things automotive, so you would be forgiven if you think writing about shoelaces is a bit of a stretch. But heck, most of us get about on our feet for at least some of the day, so I am going with it.

Recently, Nike launched a new self-lacing trainer called the Adapt BB (BB for Basketball, that well-known sport). Ever since self-tying trainers featured in the Michael J. Fox film “Back to the Future”, various apparel manufacturers have tried to be the first to market with a pair.

It’s all your fault, Michael.

Nike claims to be the first, with an advertising campaign that says that it had reinvented the shoelace. The shoelace dates back some 3,500 years and for those of you who were not paying attention during history class, this is before Stonehenge was built. Seeing as the shoelace is still going strong all of those years later, that is some bold claim.

 

“Shoelaces you had a good run, but we think we have finally bettered you” goes the slogan from Nike and bills the Adapt BB as the footware of the future. The shoes went on sale this week at a cool USD350 a pair. Only, not so fast, Nike. Despite all of the testing, a late update to the Android app that allows the wearer to loosen or tighten the trainer failed to work.

Basically, each shoe has a small motor inside that constantly adjusts the shoes to keep the foot snug through a range of movements. Complaints came streaming in from the get-go about the inability of the app to sync with both shoes, or the inability of the shoes to charge. Even though you can adjust the shoes with buttons on the side of the shoe, it would seem the new owners of the shoes wanted to do it via the app, hence the disappointment.

It hasn’t been an easy week for the company. On Wednesday, in North Carolina, a Duke College basketball player by the name of Zion Williamson had a little spill during a game as his Adapt BB trainers split apart. In the aftermath, Nike shares fell by about 1%. I am sure that Nike will get it right very soon and I am also very sure that also very soon my sons will start to nag me for a pair for themselves.

How they tested the Adapt BB.

Visit the Nike website for the Adapt BB.

 

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