Nike is Making my Dreams Come True – Power Laces from “Back to the Future II”

About a month ago, I posted up an article on my other blog about how we only have 5 years left to make all our Back to the Future II tech dreams come true. In it, on of the items I hoped for were self adjust clothes; that includes those sweet ass Nikes with the power laces. Well, it looks like Nike is finally looking towards the future because they are now in the process of patenting the power lace technology. I really hope this is real because I know its every geeks dream to own a pair of these shoes.

If you check out the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) site, you’ll see the exact submission made by Nike. Here is a small excerpt of the submission:

2. Description of Related Art

[0002] Devices for automatically tightening an article of footwear have been previously proposed. Liu (U.S. patent number 6,691 ,433) teaches an automated tightening shoe. The tightening mechanism of Liu includes a first fastener mounted on the upper, and a second fastener connected to the closure member and capable of removable engagement with the first fastener so as to retain releasably the closure member at a tightened state. Liu teaches a drive unit mounted in the heel portion of the sole. The drive unit includes a housing, a spool rotatably mounted in the housing, a pair of pull strings and a motor unit. Each string has a first end connected to the spool and a second end corresponding to a string hole in the second fastener. The motor unit is coupled to the spool. Liu teaches that the motor unit is operable so as to drive rotation of the spool in the housing to wind the pull strings on the spool for pulling the second fastener towards the first fastener. Liu also teaches a guide tube unit that the pull strings can extend through.


[0003] The invention discloses an article of footwear including an automatic lacing system. In one aspect, the invention provides an automatic lacing system for an article of footwear, comprising: a sole including a cavity; a motor disposed in the cavity; the motor including a driveshaft; the driveshaft including at least one gear; at least one belt engaged with the at least one gear at an intermediate portion of the belt; a yoke member connected to the at least one belt at an attachment portion of the at least one belt; a plurality of straps attached to the yoke member, the plurality of straps being configured to adjust an upper of the article of footwear; and where the straps can be automatically moved between a closed position and a loosened position by activating the motor.

To read more about it, you can check out the entire submission here at the WIPO.

[via CrunchGear via WIPO]

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