Friday, September 9, 2011

Nike Mag Fail

Nike built & donated 1500 pairs of Nike Mags (Marty's 2015 model shoes from Back to the Future II) to Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's disease foundation. Shoes went on auction today and with 15 hours to go, the bids are at an average of $4000 right now. Also seems Sergei Brin (co-founder of Google) will be matching whatever the auction profits. Nice.

So I realized that fans are upset because the shoes don't have power laces as they did in the movie. So basically it's a prop shoe with lights on it. As a product developer, I understand why Nike couldn't put auto lacing function on the shoe. That would need a lot of power, a big battery and motor to achieve so if they pushed for auto lacing they couldn't have came up with the same form factor.

Yet the shoe must have some circuitry and a battery to power up those LEDs and the EL lit logo. Therefore you must charge these batteries somehow. I was wondering what charging method Nike picked and was hoping for a wireless, induction charging. But seems that's not the case. From the below low res image I found on the auction site, I can tell that's an AC adapter that plugs in somewhere on the shoe.

I admire the cause and hope the shoes will fetch tens of millions of dollars but wish Nike paid some more attention to detail to make these collectibles a bit more high-tech or just current tech.