It seems that we can’t go for more than two minutes without checking our phones and Nike is giving us yet another reason to stay tethered to our handheld technology. With the introduction of the smartphone-controlled self-adjusting basketball shoes which are based on its latest FitAdapt technology, Nike hopes to make athletes lives a little easier.
An evolution of the HyperAdapt 1.0 shoes from 2016, the new Adapt BB shoes will feature a power-lacing system, along with a custom motor that will be able to sense the tension that the foot needs and adjust accordingly. Further adjustment can be managed via the Nike Adapt app available on smartphones or by the (relatively) old-fashioned use of the buttons on the shoe.
While it’s not expected that basketball players are going to suddenly start carrying their phones around with them during a game, it does offer a quick way of loosening the shoe during a timeout with little fuss, as well as tightening the shoe once more, when the game resumes. Nike also hopes to take this a step further in the future with a feature that will allow wearers to assign different tightness settings for warm-up sessions.
For those of us that may be wondering if there is really the need for these adjustments, Eric Avar, Nike VP Creative Director of Innovation explains: “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.”
As well as being Nike’s first self-adjusting basketball shoe, the Adapt BBs will be the first basketball shoes to be continually updated, with opt-in firmware updates on offer. They are powered by a 505 mAh battery that is expected to last anywhere between ten days to nearly three weeks and can be charged wirelessly in three hours, using Nike’s shoe-sized Qi-compatible mat.
So, when can you get your hands (err, feet) on them? The self-adjusting Adapt BB shoes will ship next month on February 16 and are priced at $350 on Nike’s online store.