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Apple patents self-lacing shoes – why?

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Forget Marty McFly and the Nike Mag, the next lace-up might come from Apple.

In what sounds like an April Fool’s Day story, Apple has been granted a patent for sneakers/trainers that can lace up – just like the sneakers in Back to the Future II.

It’s true! Apple filed the patent in July 2019, following previous patents for the same idea. This “Shoes with motorized adjustment system and elastic upper” patent was issued on January 11, 2022.

The idea of ​​motorized lace-up sneakers became cult after Marty McFly wore them in the classic Back to the Future II. Apple isn’t the only company trying to bring back these sneakers from the future: Nike has also created lace-up shoes under the same name as in the movie “Nike Mag”. However, only a small number of Nike’s self-lacing sneakers were made, and most were auctioned off to raise funds ($350,000).

As for why Apple would work on such a project, it’s unclear what Apple’s interest is. Apple files hundreds of patents each year – 1,310 were filed in 2018 alone. Just because a patent is filed doesn’t mean Apple will use the technology.

One thing is certain: if Apple actually released self-lacing shoes, they would be a bestseller – this is, after all, a company where even a microfiber cloth sold out within hours.

Apple describes how the system works:

“In addition, the shoe may include a powered tensioning system including a powered tightening device and a tensioning member extending through the plurality of lace-receiving members, the tightening device being configured to apply tension in the tension member to adjust the size of an internal void defined by the article of footwear by bringing together two or more of the plurality of lace-receiving members.”

Self-lacing sneakers look like something out of Back To The Future, but Apple has clearly developed technologies around them. Why? Could this be used for a seat belt in Apple’s alleged car?

Could Apple be disguising new seatbelt tech as self-lacing sneakers? Read the Apple Car rumours.

Based on a report on Macwelt.