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In case you missed it, Wednesday was 'Back to the Future Day.' For those not familiar with the trilogy, in Back to the Future II, the film's protagonists Marty McFly and Doctor Brown travel 30 years in the future to the fictional city of Hill Valley, CA, to save McFly's yet-to-be-born children. The date of their arrival, October 21st, 2015, has since been eagerly awaited by fans all over the world.
To celebrate the event, Nike released a fully-functional model of the famous Nike Mag sneakers that McFly wore in the movie. However, while the ones featured in the film were just props, the latest release is the real deal. This means that all the user has to do is wear the sneaker and sit back as the shoe goes about tying its own laces. What's even cooler is that the Nike logo and the heel light up just like McFly's did. And even better? Unlike the ones in the movie, there is no wire connected to a battery pack dangling down the leg. The technology is all built into the shoe.
This is not the first time Tinker Hatfield, the Nike designer who created the original fictional design, has tried to introduce a real-life version of the iconic sneaker. However, the 2011 version fell short because though the shoe looked exactly like Marty McFly's it had one major flaw - It did not self-lace!
However, this time around the company says it has developed the technology that can sense the foot and automatically tighten the laces in the lower part of the shoe, around the foot and also close the strap that fits around the ankle. The shoes also have manual controls to allow the user to tighten or loosen the grip if necessary.
Given that the shoes were inspired by Marty McFly it was only fitting that the first pair of Nike Mags were delivered to Michael J. Fox, the actor who played the movie character, on October 21st. The good news is that Nike plans to release additional pairs in 2016. The bad? They will be a limited edition launch and only available via auction. The company says that all the proceeds will be donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. While that is great news, it also means that the shoes will be prohibitively expensive for most of us.
The only glimmer of hope for ordinary consumers is that Nike has a patent on the technology and may someday incorporate it in into 'ordinary sneakers' - Ones that all of us afford!