Nike has released its self-lacing shoes and the result is funnier than anything I predicted:
One user writes, “The first software update for the shoe threw an error while updating, bricking the right shoe.” Another says, “App will only sync with left shoe and then fails every time. Also, app says left shoe is already connected to another device whenever I try to reinstall and start over.”
“My left shoe won’t even reboot.” writes another. One user offers a possible solution, saying, “You need to do a manual reset of both shoes per the instructions.”
People like to argue over whether Orwell or Huxley more accurately predicted our dystopian future but I think Mike Judge’s prediction is proving most accurate.
Products like the Nike Adapt BB provide the opportunity for a self-inflicted dystopia. If your life is too free from anxiety, you can buy some. Running a little late for work? Now you can worry about whether or not your shoes have enough charge in them to lace themselves or whether or not your smartphone app will connect to them to activate the self-lacing operation. Will the lithium-ion batteries in your shoes explode? Who knows! Will wearing them outside in -20 weather cause the batteries to discharge to such a point that you won’t be able to unlace them? Perhaps!
On the upside, the entertainment derived from watching people struggle with their “smart” shoes is free.