High-tech shoemaker Nike is stirring up the sneaker market with the recent announcement to bring the LeBron X model including the ‘Nike+ Basketball’ feature to the consumer market as early as Fall this year with a (not yet confirmed) price tag of about US$ 300.-
Nike introduced the Nike+ feature as simple Pod inserted in the shoe back in 2006 in running shoes, tracking the distance and calorie burned. The collected information can be uploaded after the run to the Nike+ website to share and compete with like minded people around the world.
Earlier this year Nike added the ‘Nike+ Training’ feature and integrated it in the Lunar Hyperworkout shoes with accompanying iOS App, linking up the shoes to the iPhone via Bluetooth and to the Nike+ social workout site. The Lunar Hyperworkout models are available for men and women for about US$ 230.-
Adding on to the High-tech shoe range, Nike announced the ‘Nike+ Basketball’ available later this year with the LeBron X model recording the jumps and intensity of movements during the game.
The technology for both is based around a new Pressure Sensor built into each shoe that collects information about the user’s movement and then wireless transmits data to their phone, providing different metrics about their workout or their game.
I do not understand the discussion around the price of the LeBron X model as I know many people lining up for days outdoors to be happy to buy a smartphone twice as expensive than other brands. Nike is not ‘any’ shoe maker it is ‘THE’ shoemaker. Paying a premium to be one of the selected first to wear a high-tech shoe is not as ‘incredible’ as some think.
It is great to see brands committed to innovation, to be bold and make the first step into the unknown. Wearable technology is an area where innovators and risk takers on both sides, on the business and the consumer side are needed. Going the save and cheap line means waiting for the mainstream to catch up.