Nike's Broken Self-Lacing Shoes and a Lesson in Tech-Integration
In 'Back to the Future Pt. II' we were all promised that, in the future (which is now the past, actually), we'd all have self-lacing shoes. It turned out to be a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy, as Nike made the shoes Marty McFly wore in the year 2015 as a promotional product. As these things sometimes go, it caught on as a real trend, and the company is still pumping out shoes with self-lacing technology.
The problem with technology being integrated in things is that it creates the chance for bugs to show themselves and create problems, which is exactly what's happening with one of Nike's most expensive and tech-focused self-lacing shoes.
The Nike Adapt BB pure platinum doesn't even actually have laces, but an internal computer that tightens around the foot when the user steps into them. If you can believe it, they cost $350. There's also the ability to use a Nike-made app to adjust the sneakers' fit and change their colors.
Behold Nike's Adapt BB self-lacing shoe. This isn't Nike's first self-lacing shoe, but it is its first connected shoe. Because it works with an app, Nike can update the shoe's features over time—like an operating system. They go on sale tomorrow for $350 https://t.co/KZKQsgi3er pic.twitter.com/kKEavxNo8H
— WIRED (@WIRED) February 16, 2019
Just like people see with smartphones or their computers, however, all it takes is one software update to gunk something up in the application. How many times have you gotten a notice that there was a new software update with "bug fixes" seemingly minutes after you updated to the latest one?
Unfortunately for the sneaker heads who spent the money on the Adapt BB's, specifically those who use Android phones, are complaining that the app "bricked" the shoes, meaning it rendered them useless because they don't work as intended.
Have you tried rebooting the shoes?https://t.co/b7P6tyyOne
— CNET News (@CNETNews) February 20, 2019
Apparently all the smart features on the app, like adjusting the fit and that nifty color changing technology, doesn't work with the software update, according to CNET.
"We are seeing isolated connectivity issues related to the setup of the Nike Adapt BB and are actively working to resolve it," a Nike spokesperson told CNET in a statement. "If a consumer experiences this, we encourage them to contact Nike Consumer Services."
Tech integration in footwear in apparel is no longer just a gimmick or a fad—it's here and it's not going anywhere, especially as the popularity of athleisure integrates with the ability to track workouts and fitness goals. So, if you're a company as big as Nike, you'd think you'd have the technology ready to go off without a hitch. This is a good lesson for anyone looking to boost their tech status: It's important that you do it, but make sure you take the time to do it right.