On the latest “Smashing Security” podcast we discussed the merits (or otherwise) of Nike’s innovative Adapt BB sneakers - wirelessly-charged self-lacing shoes.
With our most cynical heads on, we imagined a future where Nike would be able to track shoe owners and collect their personal information - data that could potentially be monetised.
Little did we know that within hours of recording, owners of the Nike’s “smart” sneakers would be up in arms that their $350 footwear had been bricked by a faulty update to the Android version of the shoes’ app.
(Of course the shoes have an app, how else would you expect to check their battery life, or customise the lights on their side? Sheesh.. keep up)
Disgruntled wearers took to social media and the Google Play store to vent their fury.
Welcome to 2019, when people can heard uttering phrases like “My left shoe won’t even reboot.”
And it is a problem. You see, the Nike Adapt BB sneakers don’t provide real physical laces, which would have been a useful backup if you wanted to use the shoes when an update has bricked your shoes.
As you can imagine, this is something of an own-goal for Nike. And you have to feel sorry for its poor technical support staff who find themselves in the ridculous position of trying to tell owners how to reboot their shoes in case it helps resolve the problem.
Nike says it is working on a fix, but it’s uncertain when a patch will be rolled out to consumers. iPhone users are said not to be affected.
Sometimes simple is better than “smart”.