Self-Lacing Sneakers

The following is reposted from the August 27, 2010 ASEE First Bell:

Taking Cue From Marty McFly, Nike Patents Self-Lacing Sneaker.

The Wired (8/26, Sorrel) “Gadget Lab” blog reports, “Nike has actually patented a self-lacing sneaker” similar to “Marty McFly’s amazing self-lacing sneakers from Back to the Future 2.” While the existence of the patent “is mind-bending enough…pretty much everything has made it in. The shoes will of course fasten themselves, but there are also LEDs a-glowing and a detailed breakdown of the batteries, circuits and control-systems. There is even a charging stand.” Wired includes a link to the patent.

Popular Science (8/27, Dillow) reports that the “cinching straps” in the shoes “work by concealing a tiny battery-driven motor in the heel, though the plans don’t specify the exact mechanism by which the wearer will signal the shoes to tighten up (the words ‘button,’ ‘switch,’ and ‘weight sensor’ are all buried in the text). It also leaves the door open for a variety of self-lacing gear, including ‘skates, boots, ski boots, snowboarding boots, cycling shoes, formal shoes, slippers or any other kind of footwear.'”

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