Image source: Nike

Nike unveils new self-lacing smart basketball shoes

Nike has introduced a new version of its self-lacing basketball shoes that tighten at the touch of a button or swipe of a smartphone.

Essential reading: Connected tech for aspiring basketball players

Unveiled yesterday during an event at the company’s New York headquarters, the Nike Adapt BB shoes are an upgraded version of its HyperAdapt 1.0 sneakers from 2016. The 2nd generation utilises a power lacing system called Fit Adapt which consists of a tiny motor and gear train that attach to cords. The apparatus senses the tension needed by the foot and tightens accordingly.

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Image source: Nike

All this is controlled through the Nike Adapt app or manually via a pair of buttons on the outer side. For example, a player can loosen a shoe during timeouts, and tighten when the game re-starts. The system will even remember the perfect fit according to different activities.

These will be the first smart shoes from Nike with the option to receive firmware updates. For example, a forthcoming feature will allow players to prescribe a different tightness setting for warm-ups. The sneakers currently don’t provide any data but that is coming as well, Nike says.

nike adapt bb iphone 800x644 - Nike unveils new self-lacing smart basketball shoes
Image source: Nike

The shoes have a 505 mAh battery that can last between 10 and 20 days between charges, depending on use. To refuel, simply leave them on the shoe-sized Qi-compatible mat for three hours.

The sneakers will set you back $350 and will begin shipping on February 17th. This is a rather hefty price tag but it’s still much affordable than the $720 of the first generation. Nike has started with basketball, but intends to roll out the tech across a range of sports.

“We picked basketball as the first sport for Nike Adapt intentionally because of the demands that athletes put on their shoes,” said Nike VP creative director of innovation Eric Avar in a statement.

“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.”

Puma is also said to be flirting with the technology. The German multinational company is planning to release a limited run of 30 self-tightening sneakers that users will be able to control via a smartphone app.

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