Nike’s Adapt BB shoes let you tighten your laces with an iPhone

Ever since Marty McFly donned a pair of self-lacing shoes in Back to the Future II, we have been obsessed with getting our hands on similar footwear. After all, in an age when we all carry computers in our pockets, are constantly connected with friends on social media, and can stream vast entertainment libraries wherever we go, who has time to bend over to tie their shoes? Thankfully, Nike is edging closer to making the dream of self-lacing shoes a reality for the masses by introducing a new model made specifically for basketball players.

The new Nike Adapt BB builds on the technology that the company first introduced in its HyperAdapt 1.0 model back in 2016. The Adapt BB uses a new power lacing system called FitAdapt, which can either be controlled manually using buttons on the shoe itself or via a smartphone app. This gives athletes the ability to adjust the shoes as needed throughout a game.

Nike says that a basketball player’s foot can expand up to a half-size throughout the course of a game. This can cause a shoe to become less comfortable and can impact blood flow to the foot as well. Ultimately, this can cause a subtle shift in how an athlete moves on the court, potentially reducing speed, jumping ability, and dexterity. The Adapt BB is designed to counter that.

When you place your foot inside the shoe, built-in sensors detect the amount of tension that is needed on the laces and adjusts the FitAdapt system accordingly. Tiny motors and gears move inside the Adapt BB to create a suitable fit for the individual athlete’s feet. That fit can be adjusted manually using the onboard buttons, but connecting the shoes to a smartphone via Bluetooth unlocks a few extra features. For instance, an athlete can set create preset profiles for each shoe and make quick adjustments as needed. During a timeout, he or she can reduce the tension in the shoes for greater comfort then tighten up the fit as they head back out on the court.

Other nice features include the ability to customize the color of the glowing buttons on the shoe and recharge the footwear wirelessly. The Adapt BB has fully upgradeable firmware as well, allowing Nike to tune performance and add features over time.

Nike says the FitAdapt system will roll it out to footwear for other sports in the months ahead, with the system being customized to meet the specific demands of other activities. For now, though, basketball players are the first to get to test the new technology as the Adapt BB starts shipping in February for $350. Also, the shoes will make their first professional appearance on the feet of Boston Celtics guard Jayson Tatum, who faces the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, January 16.

Product Review

Nokia’s 3.1 Plus is an affordable phone that’s crippled by its camera

The Nokia 3.1 Plus is HMD Global’s first smartphone to be sold by a U.S. carrier in-store. It’s only available on Cricket Wireless right now, which underlines its focus on affordability. Should you buy a phone this affordable?
Gaming

How to keep a PS4 in your pocket with the PlayStation Mobile app

Sony built the PlayStation 4 with smartphone and mobile integration in mind. Take a look at our guide for connecting your smartphone or tablet to a PS4, so you can get the most out of the system while on the go.
Mobile

Google still thinks people are interested in modular smartphones

Google has filed new patents related to modular smartphone designs and technology, several years after it discontinued Project Ara, indicating it is still interested in creating phones that are easily modified by the owner.
Mobile

Will new Vivo-owned brand Iqoo specialize in cutting-edge phones?

A new smartphone brand has launched. It's called Iqoo, and it's a sub-brand of Vivo, the Chinese device manufacturer owned by BBK Electronics. The company has not revealed its first smartphones yet
Outdoors

Shark attack: Drone-based research may help ease swimmers’ fears

Researchers in Australia have used drones to try to learn more about what kinds of sea creatures come close the shore, and their findings may go some way to easing the fears of swimmers worried about shark attacks.
Mobile

Alphabet’s Verily is reportedly working on shoes that can track your weight

Fitness tracking is getting increasingly important, but while the likes of Apple are working on fitness-tracking watches, Alphabet's Verily is turning to shoes. According to a report, Verily is working on shoes that can track your weight.
Outdoors

Strava joins Slopes to record your ski and snowboard stats

Skiers and snowboarders can now share their activity on the hill within their Strava profile thanks to a new collaboration with the fitness-tracking app and Slopes, an app designed for use on the hill.
Deals

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Cold weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record all your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives, including some 4K cameras, that won’t leave…
Deals

REI slashes prices on The North Face, Columbia, and Nike clearance Items

It's never too early to plan your next adventure and REI is your one-stop shop to get you prepared. Now until February 18, REI is offering up to 50 percent off on camp gear, outerwear, winter boots, and lifestyle footwear. Find discounts…
Deals

REI drops prices on Suunto, Fitbit, and Garmin Fenix smartwatches

Looking for some great deals on outdoor and fitness watches? Garmin, Fitbit, and Suunto smartwatches have all been discounted for a limited time during the REI Winter Clearance Sale.
Emerging Tech

Tokyo 2020 is on track to create Olympic medals with recycled electronics

The committee behind the Tokyo 2020 Olympics revealed that it is on target to be able to forge all winning athletes’ gold, silver and bronze medals from recycled electronic waste.
Outdoors

Skullcandy turns to action sports with the Vert Bluetooth earbuds

The new Skullcandy Vert Bluetooth earbuds are designed with action sports athletes in mind, putting audio controls on a convenient dial that provides glove-friendly options to pause and play music, and adjust volume.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Hi-viz bike reflectors and a tiny flashlight

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Outdoors

Uber’s bikesharing service is eating into its regular business

A bikesharing service acquired by Uber nearly a year ago is causing riders to take fewer car journeys with the company. It is, however, part of the plan as Uber looks to offer an integrated mobility platform for cities.