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!