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The company wants to fundamentally change footwear and, of course, sell more shoes.Imagine: your feet swell during a basketball game because you’ve been running back and forth on the court, and your sneakers detect your blood pressure.Nike has built connected footwear before — remember the Nike i Pod and the Nike Training?— but the company is serious about making adaptive fit a thing.
Instead, the Adapt BB represent the next step in that dream product journey.
“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,” says Jordan Rice, senior director in Smart Systems Engineering at Nike. Sure, it’d be nice if I could wear and charge one less thing, but people like their Apple Watches and Fitbits. While the Adapt BB look notably different than the Hyper Adapt 1.0, the bigger innovation has to do with what Nike calls the “lace engine.” Every component needed to make the shoe smart lives inside that engine: a microcontroller, 505m Ah battery, gyroscope, accelerometer, Bluetooth module, motor, lights, pressure sensor, capacitive touch sensor, temperature sensor, and wireless charging coil.
All of the tech that you find in a smartphone is packed inside this shoe; Nike could easily update the app to start counting steps or tracking fitness.
The app walks wearers through the pairing process, which involves holding each shoe close to their phone.
That process failed a couple of times during my demo.