Nike self-lacing sneakers that are controlled by an app are about to go on sale
In 1989, Back to the Future II aired for the first time in cinemas, giving everyone an idea of what life might look like in the far-off future of 2015.
In some ways, it was pretty accurate. Hands-free video games were depicted in the movie, for instance, as was video chat technology and devices that allowed for contactless payment. In other ways, though, it totally missed the mark (*cough* hoverboards *cough*).
For fans of the film, one of the most iconic pieces of futuristic technology shown was Marty McFly's self-lacing Nike shoes - something that definitely didn't exist in 2015.
Indeed, Nike has capitalised on this since the Back to the Future II came out, releasing several iterations of the "Air Mag" tennis sneakers over the past few decades. Of course, none of them ever had self-lacing capabilities.
But that's all about to change.
This week, the footwear giant revealed the Nike Adapt BB - a pair of sports trainers that have self-lacing capabilities which can be controlled via a smartphone.
According to press releases, users will be able to customise the fit of their shoe through an app, and can loosen or tighten the sneakers while wearing them.
Wearers will be able to input different fit settings for different times, meaning that sports players will be able to loosen their sneakers during a timeout and tighten them back up without even having to bend down.
What's more, a motor and gear built into the sneaker will sense the amount of tension needed when a person places their foot into the shoe, and adjust accordingly.
At present, Nike has identified basketball players as their target market, but hope that the shoe will grow in popularity over time.
"We picked basketball as the first sport for Nike Adapt intentionally because of the demands that athletes put on their shoes," said Eric Avar, the Nike VP Creative Director of Innovation.
"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."
And they insist that the shoe is practical as well as futuristic.
"What we wanted to do was solve something that we knew consumers wanted first as a problem because we look at things like step counting and activity tracking as easy things to add around that, but it’s not necessarily the reason you would go out and buy the shoe," said Jordan Rice, the senior director in Smart Systems Engineering at Nike.
Right now, the shoe is due to be released on February 17th, and will retail at $350. At the moment, that's obviously a very steep price to pay for a pair of basketball sneakers, but they're still expected to sell out almost immediately.
Perhaps, in a few years time, we'll all be wearing these - providing they come down in price a bit first. Oh, and while they're at it, perhaps Nike can develop a hoverboard, too. We've waited long enough.