Late October last year, Nike took us back to the future literally when it unveiled its wearable tech, which at the time were referred to as the Nike Air Mag. A power-lacing shoe that automatically tightens the shoe lace around the wearer’s foot for a tight, comfortable fit. These Nike Air Mag sneakers are now officially called the HyperAdapt 1.0.
Nike has announced that the HyperAdapt 1.0 will hit the shells before the end of this year (prices are yet to be determined). Judging by the name, and the predictability of tech evolution; my guess a HyperAdapt 2.0 won’t be too far in the future. The point is, this Nike smart-shoe offering is just one of a series of wearable tech we should expect from the company.
About the HyperAdapt 1.0
These shoes don’t come with the traditional lacing system. Instead, they have a battery-powered series of pulleys that rotates to clinch on the throat of the shoes. When you wear the shoe, there are sensors at the bottom of the shoes that register your weight and the position of your foot inside the shoe.
“It reads if you’re heavy on your heel or heavy on your forefoot,” explains John Hoke, Nike’s VP of Design.
After these sensors establish your foot position, the series of small pulley start to contract the throat of the shoe tightly around your foot. They do this by winding thread around a spool. (Think of it as a fishing rod).
As the wearer, you have the option of adjusting the tightness of the shoe by pressing a ‘Plus’ or ‘Minus’ button located on the outer sides of the shoes. When you hold down the button for two seconds, the shoe will tighten or loosen accordingly.
Though still work-in-progress, Nike wants to make the shoes’ micro-adjustments automated and react to your biometric data. Making the shoes self-adjust on the go. Hoke explains that after some wears, the HyperAdapt 1.0 will begin to adjust automatically to the wearer’s preferred settings.
Hoke also gave the suggestion that with future development of the HyperAdapt line of ‘smart-shoes’, will be able to gather the wearer’s biometric data and these data fed into a bigger adaptable and reactive Nike wearables ecosystem.
Tradeoffs with the HyperAdapt 1.0
The HyperAdapt 1.0 are reliable in as far as their battery do not run out of juice or their operating systems do not malfunction. The wearer must always be conscious of the fact that the shoe’s functionality is directly tied to its technology, and like any other technology, there is always some risk factors.
According to Nike, the shoe’s battery can support its functions for about two weeks on a single charge. So on top of remembering to charge and worrying about to charge your smartphone, tablet, laptop, Google Glass, smartwatch and the plethora of other wearable tech. The HyperAdapt 1.0 is just another thing you should remember to charge now and then.