For the firsthand survivors of the eerily prophetic 1980’s era pop culture silver screen instant classics, the digital wonderland of contemporary future shock highlighted by ceaseless innovation, is mere validation that it was bound to happen at some point in their lifetime. “They”, referring to Generation X.
The crucial question was not if, but when, the general pleasing quirkiness harnessing Reagan presidency cinematography technology would be adapted to the marketplace? Personified by dreams of flying cars and sentient AI replacing human workers and eliminating the mundanities of life, the hope of founding a shimmering Utopian paradise characterized by bountiful wealth and leisure was spawned within the imaginations of writers and directors.
Thanks to the shoe apparel giant and sports marketing firm, Nike, science fiction has become reality, at least in the lucrative niche driven market of footwear, and the youngest of the generations are salivating at every school yard, if of course recess is still an acceptable activity within the framework of public education. The company announced to the entire universe in brash and gaudy fashion that shoelaces are now a thing of the past, as a tiny system of robots and servos will replace the art of shoe tying with smart infrastructure, and no questions asked (unless the software interface is hacked), reports the BBC.
The blueprint for the eye-opening laceless technology first introduced through actor Michael J. Fox as the precocious Marty McFly in transcending time and the universal laws of physics way back in 1985, intrigued audiences in the dawn of the computer age. Many fans will never forget the innovative and comedic prowess of the journeys into the past and the future unveiling a lovable array of seemingly impossible devices to a decade dominated by analog technologies and hardware, where the fax machine was clearly the rising star of the office place.
Fast forward three plus decades into the present world of enablement spurred by the existence of the smartphone and addictive online interaction, and there is one less task for young people to master as shoes have been morphed into an extension of the perpetual smart family and the perpetual digital noise of servers and social networks. “Over, under, in and out, that is what shoe tying is all about,” now appears on the Fish and Wildlife Service department of endangered species list in yielding to technological Darwinism, as the fetish for foot computers reaches a pinnacle of hysteria in anticipation of the commercial release later this year.
For under $500, according to the BBC, one can entrust the smart apparel to calibrate the specific topography and contours of the foot in adjusting to what is assumed to be the perfect fit. The process is controlled by a smartphone. There is no mention in the article as to the possibility of electronic anti-theft countermeasures.
In a the category of “Nothing can go wrong here,” the winner is the future National Basketball Association and the first player to mysteriously lose his footing during the late stages of the Finals to unforeseen circumstances, instantly becoming a dictionary entry next to the term “dubious”, and the entire gambling community in disarray and well aware of the biological hacking job. Extending the thought experiment further, will the magic shoes eventually replace device navigation systems in firing direct instructions into the brain as to the correct heading and speed in reaching a destination based and influencing body orientation and walking speed. (Hello Alexa and Siri on steroids!) On this vein, where does all the location tracking of the user end up? The answer is not in the US or a government that has evolved past the rogue status. If that is not enough, when does society simply yield to technology and decree that God has been effectively replaced by a self-driving vehicle or an internal array of nano-sized sensors sustaining the health of the individual by constantly monitoring vital signs and curing ailments. Once again, various science fiction minds of the 20th century have completely nailed the modern plight of overengineering.
Back In A Sane World Where Humankind Ruled The Shoes.
Nike and CEO Phil Knight are simply not unleashing a publicity stunt upon consumers, but a flashing the template for a new world order based on the insatiable lust for devices in all aspects of life, or maybe it is just a clever marketing gimmick recapturing an audience share in the ultra-competitive athletic wear industry? It all comes down to the veritable truth which dictates that pairing anything, anything with a smartphone and the marketplace will go crazy. This is one possible solution in bridging the political chasm and eliminating divisiveness which plagues society. Here are some possible commercially viable interfaces… Smartphone with vaping device- check. Microwave and smartphone- done. Smartphone and Michelle Wolf- maybe. Playstation, Jane Fonda, Tax Payer funded heroin injection sites, Koch Brothers, Smartphone, Pudding Pops, George Soros, Summer Olympics TV ratings, Shannon Watts, Myspace- quite possibly.
The warning bells alerting the skeptics have clearly sounded, as a generation that is unable to simply tell time by looking at the hands on the clock, is no longer required to complete the simple ceremony of tying a shoe correctly to prevent falling flat on their faces, a likely tragedy worthy of a trophy awards presentation and ceremony. The entire reasonable league of citizens collectively shakes its head, while the data is logged and categorized by furtive Bangladesh, North Korean, Nigerian and Chinese spyware.
Next up, MIT officials discuss the next wave of smart attire eliminating the wasted productivity of dressing in a world where blue collar jobs have virtually gone extinct thanks to sentient robotics. The “Wasted Cincher” automated belt completes a frenzied :20 seconds of mechanical precision from nakedness to professional sleekness with a final click, as 90% of the country, who are not software engineers or robot mechanics, starve.
Read the BBC story here.