Thanks for everyone that sent me the link to Nike's teaser press release (which included Back to the Future merchandise and references) and their full announcement the next day: That they would auction off a limited edition run of 'Air Mags', a replica of the shoe shown in Back to the Future II.
It must be said that these shoes look almost exactly like the ones in the movie, and even light up, but they are not power lacing and are really meant to stay on a shelf or under glass. With some pairs auctioning as high as $75,000 you probably wouldn't want to wear it outside too much.
The really cool thing though is that all proceeds will go to the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research. I applaud Nike and Universal for this and they're already on track to raise a lot of money. As my grandmother is a Parkinson's sufferer as well, that is a cause that is close to my heart and it's really great what they're doing.
I've also been asked how it affects my project, and to that I say, "Positively".
Before it was revealed exactly what Nike would be unveiling, the buzz was that they would be releasing some sort of power lacing product. Though that eventually turned out to be false, I wasn't worried because I believed Nike and I were focused on different segments of the market.
As I've always said, though my project was inspired by a Sci-Fi concept it's main purpose and functionality would be geared towards helping the disabled. Not just with the lacing mechanism itself, but with other features that I can't unveil just yet.
While Nike may someday release a true Air Mag that autolaces (I doubt it will be before the mid to late 2012 launch date we're aiming for) it's very unlikely that Nikes shoe will be based from the ground up for accessibility for the disabled which is what I spent the bulk of the project working on, one of the goal being true handsfree use.
More than just Power Laces, I'm building a System.
Because of that, I believe my system is unique enough to stand on it's own doing it's intended purpose.
Another positive aspect as people searching for info about Nike's shoe has lead them to my project, so I've received a lot of great support from newcomers cheering me on, and I'm looking forward to the next few months as I prepare for manufacturing.
Talk to you guys again soon!
Just a quick update while I'm waiting on the patenting stuff (a few rewrites were necessary).
The "practice business" I decided on was something well done with a lot of info and inspiration available- nerdy t-shirts.
Relatively easy to set up and will give my creative side some much needed outlet.
I've already had some talented people help bring my ideas to life, built a website (that's still in stealth) and now I'm just looking for a good Print on Demand shop that will also handle delivery.
In 'Laces news, besides the Legal stuff like just wrapping up my second quarterly Minutes meeting, I've scheduled time off this Fall to go visit some choice manufacturing facilities, both local and abroad. I want to make sure I know the people and setup I'll be working with before I make any final decisions in that area.
I'm really excited about that and again, I'll keep you updated on the upcoming new developments!
Was holding off until I had bigger news, but looks like it's going to take a little bit longer.
The prototype has mostly been finalized and we're really liking it. Some parts of it were so easy I'm not sure why I didn't think of it before.
The paperwork has been submitted for a provisional patent, which is pretty exciting. After that's approved we get 'Patent Pending' status.
Since we're going to be selling exclusively online, at least initially, I figured it would be prudent to develop and obtain some experience in that arena. I'm working on a small online store that will help me learn about managing sales and inventory systems and such, which I believe will definitely be useful when I ramp up to the real thing.
It's not quite ready yet as most of my time has been devoted to the main project, but once it goes live I'll let you guys know. And feedback on that will be helpful knowledge when I develop the official store.
We're halfway through the (re)conception as the prototype is modified to be more durable, and some rather neat features are being added that move it beyond simply tightening your shoelaces.
It's really an interest puzzles to solve, as there are so many things that need to be taken into account. And once those small issues are solved it leads to more questions and puzzles.
Fortunately I like puzzles :)
I have some great looking concept art for the direction we're heading, but unfortunately I can't show it off quite yet.
We should be moving into the next stage of production in early May, which is the technical stage where we begin testing materials and laying out the electronics and such, and when it's complete we'll have manufacturing blueprints.
Very exciting stuff.
Since the last update I've been contacted by a small handful of people (less then a dozen) that said their package must have been lost in transit. I read all the comments to these Updates, so if you've posted here or sent me a message, I have received it and already marked you down for a new shipment.
The swag reorder was slightly delayed but it will be here early next week and I will send new stuff out again to the people who's original package was lost.
Talk to you soon, and have a save April 1st!