The power of science fiction is being revealed as companies race to make the products seen in Back To The Future II in time for the October 21st date at which Marty McFly arrived. The latest example is Nike's confirmation that they are preparing to release boots with “power laces” that tighten themselves.
Shoes that lace themselves may not be nearly as in demand as hoverboards or flying cars, but they are more likely to be at an affordable price.
Rumors have been circulating for some time that Power Laces are on their way, but it has now been officially confirmed by Nike innovation chief Tinkler Hatfield, although he declined to reveal prices or even release dates, noting that there are “11 and two-thirds months left in 2015,” suggesting Nike is giving itself the extra two months beyond McFly's arrival, just in case it needs them. They've even patented the technology.
Hatfield designed the shoes shown in the film at a point where the technology was more suited to the screen than the street. In 2011, a limited release shoe with LED lighting, but without the power lacing capacity, raised $6 million for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.
The franchise is a goldmine for companies looking for new products to bring to market. Some of the technologies represented, such as thumbprint recognition locks, were hardly original, and others are likely to have novelty appeal at best.
We're also not counting on a revival of fax machines. And given what drone-mounted cameras are already doing to our privacy, it's debatable whether hovercams are really something we should be looking forward to.
However, according to sneaker blog Nice Kicks, the self-lacing shoes might just hit the spot market-wise.