Looks like Marty McFly’s self-lacing sneakers from Back to the Future II might be arriving right on schedule—at least, if Nike designer Tinker Hatfield isn’t just joshing us. Speaking at a a press conference in New Orleans on Friday, the man behind many iconic Nike shoe designs affirmed that the so-called “power laces,” which made a memorable appearance in the 1989 movie’s fictional 2015 universe, could be a reality next year. “Are we gonna see power laces in 2015? To that, I say yes!” Hatfield was quoted by Sole Society as saying. Nike hasn’t given its official word on the matter, but the futuristic kicks aren’t beyond the realm of possibility.
In 2009, the sportswear giant filed a patent for an “automatic fastening system” composed of a set of straps that “automatically [open and close] to switch between a loosened and tightened position of the upper.”
Two years later, Nike auctioned 1,500 replicas of the trainers, albeit with old-fashioned manual laces. All proceeds ($6 million, or roughly $4,000 per pair) benefited the Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, which Michael J. Fox, who portrayed McFly in the time-travel trilogy, founded after he was diagnosed with the disease.
Can’t wait until 2015? You can make your own less-polished version by following San Francisco-based inventor Blake Bevin’s directions on Instructables. Bevin’s 2010 Kickstarter campaign noted that self-lacing shoes aren’t just cool for cool’s sake; they could also improve the life of individuals with motor disabilities.
Next stop, hoverboards?
[Via the Daily Mail]