Hoverboards sold separately
August 25, 2010 12:50 PM   Subscribe

Nike has filed a patent for the power-lacing sneakers from Back to the Future II. There have been false alarms before, but this time there are Nike-made descriptions and diagrams.
posted by cashman (69 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
GREAT SCOTT!
posted by Threeway Handshake at 12:52 PM on August 25, 2010 [9 favorites]


I'll only worry about it when they market a product.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:54 PM on August 25, 2010 [10 favorites]


Oh, great. More redundant applications for toxic batteries.

/obligatory ecological kvetch
posted by Burhanistan at 12:55 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Thats really heavy man
posted by Confess, Fletch at 12:55 PM on August 25, 2010


Yeah well actually my friend had these when we were in middle school because his uncle worked at Nike and they made these shoes and he said they were really awesome but they only made prototypes because they would have been too expensive or something, i never saw them but he said they were sweet

also his other uncle worked at nintendo and he got to play all the games before they came out and even some top-secret ones like where mario and mickey mouse team up
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 12:56 PM on August 25, 2010 [44 favorites]


Don't worry, I'm sure someone will show up to relentlessly defend Nike.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 12:56 PM on August 25, 2010 [7 favorites]


I'll only worry about it when they market a product.

Flagged as excessively passive aggressive. If you didn't like Apple's patent, there was your place to say it.
posted by cavalier at 12:56 PM on August 25, 2010


Damnit, Nike, work on the hoverboards, not the stupid shoelaces!
posted by mullacc at 12:57 PM on August 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


I know it's a stylistic thing and it's catering to the love people have for the movie, but I have to say that I'm getting old enough that the idea of having to recharge the batteries in my shoes just doesn't appeal to me.

Now, a powered hoverboard? That's something I'm still young enough to be interested in.
posted by quin at 12:57 PM on August 25, 2010


They finally start to make these shoes, and all you people can do is bitch about them having batteries, seriously?

When Mattel makes the hoverboards, are you going to also complain they have "no wifi" and don't play ogg vorbis?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 12:59 PM on August 25, 2010 [16 favorites]


I hope the also get the patent for the power-unlacing otherwise I sense a problem!!
posted by norabarnacl3 at 12:59 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Now, combine those with these and I will buy them, forgiving Nike for ripping me off on the WAY undersized Nike ID "Geek" sneakers I paid $150 dollars to throw away (No Nike store near enough to make a return worthwhile).
posted by Samizdata at 1:03 PM on August 25, 2010


New slogan: Just Let Us Do It
posted by Skot at 1:04 PM on August 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


No power unlacing yet, but they do come with a handy Shoe Removal Tool (note: it's basically a boxcutter, but with some safety doohickeys so you don't stab yourself) and the shoes are packaged in convenient 4-packs.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:04 PM on August 25, 2010


Now, a powered hoverboard? That's something I'm still young enough to be interested in.

Keep it, I've got a Pitbull now.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:05 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Flagged as excessively passive aggressive

To quote another 80s comedy: Lighten up, Francis. It was a joke.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:05 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not even that interested in the hoverboards, unless they figure out a way to make them work on water.
posted by .kobayashi. at 1:05 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


And thanks to an archived eBay auction we can complain about how the diagram doesn't match the real deal.

Wait, that's actually a pretty good match. Snark retracted.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:08 PM on August 25, 2010


> They finally start to make these shoes, and all you people can do is bitch about them having batteries, seriously?

When Mattel makes the hoverboards, are you going to also complain they have "no wifi" and don't play ogg vorbis?


Eh, false dichotomy.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:09 PM on August 25, 2010


Shoe-tying is hard. That's why we all have velcro sneakers now.
posted by coolguymichael at 1:17 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


When Mattel makes the hoverboards, are you going to also complain they have "no wifi" and don't play ogg vorbis?

If the future contains lossy audio compression, I want no part of it.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:21 PM on August 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


Pffft. Old news. Frankly, Nike, I'm disappointed in your lack of market savvy. The smart R&D money nowadays is in food hydrators and ceiling-mounted voice-activated descending fresh fruit gardens.
posted by gompa at 1:22 PM on August 25, 2010


On thinking about far longer than I probably should have, I retract my earlier statement. I can actually see some value in shoes that require batteries and are self lacing. I see them as monitoring how much I'm walking/ standing and adjusting the insole and laces to best provide me with a comfortable experience. When I sit down and take all the weight off them, they can automatically unlace a bit, and when I get up and start moving, it can tighten up and increase arch support depending on my weight distribution.

That is a battery powered show I'd consider. Ones that just look like a prop from a 20 year old movie? Meh.
posted by quin at 1:24 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


My dad just got velcro fastened New Balance shoes and he thinks they're amazing.
posted by longsleeves at 1:25 PM on August 25, 2010


My hoverboard plays ogg vorbis. I don't know what kind of crap hoverboards you losers are using.
posted by The World Famous at 1:29 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nike better hurry, they only have five years left!
posted by nomad at 1:32 PM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Come to think of it, if someone could invent Pee-Wee's breakfast machine(s), I'd be pretty happy.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:35 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


ceiling-mounted voice-activated descending fresh fruit gardens

Hey, fruit! Fruit, please!
posted by uncleozzy at 1:35 PM on August 25, 2010


quin - I would buy those shoes.
posted by stoneweaver at 1:36 PM on August 25, 2010


Yeah well actually my friend had these when we were in middle school because his uncle worked at Nike and they made these shoes and he said they were really awesome but they only made prototypes because they would have been too expensive or something, i never saw them but he said they were sweet

Funnily enough, I once really did have a prototype pair of Nike shoes. They actually went on to produce them, but they were never very popular.

Terribly ugly. But pretty damn comfortable, durable, light, etc, etc.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:36 PM on August 25, 2010


Terribly ugly. But pretty damn comfortable, durable, light, etc, etc.

I mean I can see where they'd be incredibly useful from a utilitarian level but when it comes to aesthetics...well, all I can think of is kids in inner cities shooting some poor fool and then putting their Air Carnivores on the dead body with a sigh of relief.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 1:43 PM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's all fun and games until killer sneakers rebel and start strangling people with their strings.
posted by qvantamon at 1:45 PM on August 25, 2010


I'm holding out for Mr. Fusion.

"Mr. Fusion powers the time circuits and the flux capacitor. The engine runs on ordinary gasoline. It always has."


Environmentally kvetch about that!
posted by chavenet at 1:49 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


But there already is a hoverboard.
posted by jardinier at 2:00 PM on August 25, 2010


Mr. Fusion powers the time circuits and the flux capacitor. The engine runs on ordinary gasoline. It always has.

I kind of think this line is a retcon. In BTTF Doc says 'This sucker's electrical' (as opposed to nuclear) and says nothing about gasoline power.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:05 PM on August 25, 2010


Those shoes actually look pretty bad. Like fuzzy boots. They don't look anything like the current aesthetic. 2015 from those movies actually looks like an amped-up 1980s.
posted by delmoi at 2:13 PM on August 25, 2010


They finally start to make these shoes, and all you people can do is bitch about them having batteries, seriously?

I for one will continue to do what I always do: interrupt the fun by noting how it'll mostly likely be made by 9-year-old Cambodian slaves.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:14 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I hope the also get the patent for the power-unlacing otherwise I sense a problem!!

Now, ladies and gentlemen, scientists call this disease Bromhidrosis...
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:17 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


They don't look anything like the current aesthetic. 2015 from those movies actually looks like an amped-up 1980s.

A lot can change in 5 years. 2010 looks a lot more like an amped up 1980s than 2005 did, for example. Not that 2015 will look exactly like Back To The Future II or anything. But I would totally go to a restaurant where the waiter is a CRT screen with a Max Headroom version of Ronald Reagan.
posted by The World Famous at 2:22 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


So that's not prior art? Or is it ... FUTURE ART
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 2:24 PM on August 25, 2010


My hoverboard plays ogg vorbis. I don't know what kind of crap hoverboards you losers are using.

Um, I only ride the iHover, which may only play .aac, but it's got a hell of a display and just works.
posted by General Malaise at 2:28 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anyone who doesn't build their own hover board and load Commodore OS on it is a poser.
posted by oddman at 2:39 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


The official shoe of the Miami Gators.
posted by jeremy b at 2:45 PM on August 25, 2010


The shark still looks fake.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:47 PM on August 25, 2010


No power unlacing yet, but they do come with a handy Shoe Removal Tool (note: it's basically a boxcutter, but with some safety doohickeys so you don't stab yourself) and the shoes are packaged in convenient 4-packs.

Do you know what this means? It means this damn thing doesn't work!
posted by simms2k at 3:04 PM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ah, the perfect gift for lazy dumb rich people.
posted by not_on_display at 3:08 PM on August 25, 2010


I don't understand. Wouldn't the movie be prior art? (And since the movie came out in 1989, even if there were a contemperaneous patent it would be expired now.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:45 PM on August 25, 2010


I don't care what anybody says, the future's not here until I've got a jetpack hanging on my coatrack.
posted by Kattullus at 3:53 PM on August 25, 2010


Some of the Nike patent design seems to be a direct homage to the prop design, like that little triangular bit with the triangular cutout, on the top sides.
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:10 PM on August 25, 2010


Oh, just caught this:

2015 from those movies actually looks like an amped-up 1980s.

That's Roddenbery's Law, "Nothing becomes dated more quickly than our vision of the future."
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:25 PM on August 25, 2010


I'm not even that interested in the hoverboards, unless they figure out a way to make them work on water.

I heard those things don't work on water unless you got powa.
posted by Beardman at 4:54 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Imagine the hilarity at Airport security when you're supposed to remove your shoes, and the batteries are dead.

"No, really! They're stuck on!"
"Sir, would you step over here, please?"
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:48 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


> When Mattel makes the hoverboards, are you going to also complain they have "no wifi" and don't play ogg vorbis?

Will it at least have bluetooth?
posted by davelog at 5:48 PM on August 25, 2010


Will it cruise at thirty thousand like my Air Force Ones?
posted by jfuller at 6:18 PM on August 25, 2010


The only people I can see that would benefit from these are folks who are disabled to the point where they can no longer manipulate laces, so in that sense this would be good.

Otherwise you're just lazy.
posted by bwg at 6:19 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


and PS can't somebody send up the hoverboards signal? Can't believe we haven't heard from him. Hope he's not under the water, I mean weather.
posted by jfuller at 6:23 PM on August 25, 2010


Who actually ties and unties the laces on their sneakers anyway? I just pull them on and off.
posted by Flashman at 7:36 PM on August 25, 2010


As a shoe salesman who often works in the childrens department, I wholeheartedly approve of this. Seriously, kids don't seem to learn that you start tightening from the bottom up until age 14 or so. Also, double-knotting when you're just trying them on? Completely unnecessary.
posted by clorox at 9:09 PM on August 25, 2010


They finally start to make these shoes, and all you people can do is bitch about them having batteries, seriously

Funny thing, but I can tie my own shoelaces.

True story.
posted by pompomtom at 10:15 PM on August 25, 2010


One step closer to a hoverboard.
posted by porpoise at 10:50 PM on August 25, 2010


[0004] In another aspect, the yoke member is a rod.

[0005] In another aspect, the yoke member allows the plurality of straps to move substantially in unison.

[0006] In another aspect, the yoke member is disposed adjacent to a lower hole set of a rigid hollow plate when the straps are in the closed position.

[0007] In another aspect, the yoke member is disposed away from the lower hole set of the rigid hollow plate when the straps are in the closed position.

[0008] In another aspect, the driveshaft includes two gears.

[0009] In another aspect, the driveshaft includes two belts that are configured to engage the two gears
.
That's quite poetic in a mad way, as if Christopher Smart were an engineer.
posted by Grangousier at 1:07 AM on August 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't care what anybody says, the future's not here until I've got a jetpack hanging on my coatrack.

I don't get it. why is everyone holding out for some Tomorrowland version of the future, which would really, actually suck? The future is here and it is awesome. Slamming into other assholes jetpacking through the sky, not so awesome.
posted by IvoShandor at 3:44 AM on August 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


The future is here and it is awesome.

I dunno. When I was a kid, The Future was sponsored by Gene Roddenberry, but it turns out The Future that I actually got was Leonard Cohen's.

A pair of shoes doesn't change much.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:35 AM on August 26, 2010


IvoShandor: I don't get it. why is everyone holding out for some Tomorrowland version of the future, which would really, actually suck?

You see, the joke, as intended, was just that. Jetpack on a coatrack was supposed to be a ridiculous image. In my head it was hilarious. On the screen it died a deservedly painful death.
posted by Kattullus at 7:14 AM on August 26, 2010


Who actually ties and unties the laces on their sneakers anyway? I just pull them on and off.

You obviously aren't a runner. Runners consider shoelace tying to be extremely important. I know of marathon runners who have won or lost due to poor lacing causing pain, or from having to stop and retie their shoes. They would kill for a mechanism that dynamically adjusts shoelace tension.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:21 AM on August 26, 2010


You see, the joke, as intended, was just that. Jetpack on a coatrack was supposed to be a ridiculous image. In my head it was hilarious. On the screen it died a deservedly painful death.

I liked it. Of course, a really ridiculous image would be a coatrack using a jetpack to hover in the sky. A really really ridiculous image would be someone zipping by on another jetpack, and tossing a coat and hat on the rack. I mean, how did he take off the coat without dropping his jetpack?
posted by .kobayashi. at 8:12 AM on August 26, 2010


Are you calling the Jetsons ridiculous? Them's fightin' words.
posted by oddman at 8:45 AM on August 26, 2010


I was recently told that, in Spanish, the Jetsons are known as Los Supersónicos. But I can't decide if that makes them more or less ridiculous in my book. All I know is that I think that's wonderful.
posted by .kobayashi. at 9:51 AM on August 26, 2010


I was recently told that, in Spanish, the Jetsons are known as Los Supersónicos.

Pixies lyrics or it didn't happen.
posted by The World Famous at 10:17 AM on August 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


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