Surely everyone who picked up a pair of Nike’s limited-edition HyperAdapt self-lacing shoes had at least some small desire to rip them open to find out how they worked. But at $700 a pop, it’s an easy enough urge to suppress. The nice thing about the internet, however, is that we often can count on someone else to do our dirty work for us.
Bay Area-based engineering company Mindtribe tore into a pair of the Back to the Future-inspired sneaks to find out what drives their relatively compact auto-tightening system, no doubt to the chagrin of the innovation team at Nike.
The teardown reveals a few interesting tidbits about the system, including a “peripheral connector, which has several unpopulated pins, and even a 3-pin header coming off of it with nothing connected to the other end.” The company suggests this could point to a modular system with peripherals being rolled out for later.
The easy money points to a pedometer for future Nike+ integration — something the company told us it had considered, in an interview around the shoes’ release. A slightly more far-out idea suggests a kinetic-powered system that uses steps to power the shoes’ batteries.
The teardown also revealed an ARM Cortex M4, a mobile processor that seems like a lot of firepower for a self-lacing shoe and, again, could point to something larger down the road.