Nike has filed a patent for a self-lacing shoe that resembles the sneakers from "Back to the Future 2" so closely, one has to wonder whether a hover-board and flux capacitor could be far behind.
There is currently no timetable for when these shoes may hit the market, but the patent shoes indicate that Nike is definitely working on the technology.
According to the patent, "the automatic lacing system provides a set of straps that can be automatically opened and closed to switch between a loosened and tightened position of the upper. The article further includes an automatic ankle cinching system that is configured to automatically adjust an ankle portion of the upper."
Which is to say, you slip a switch, and the shoe tightens as if you just pulled and tightened conventional laces. The switch activates a motor that rolls or unrolls a spool of wire distributed throughout the shoe. When the spool reels in the wire, the shoe tightens along axis supported by various rods.
Naturally, the system requires a power source, and the shoe will have an on-board battery. However, the patent reveals that Nike hasn't decided whether to go with a USB or a mini-USB port to charge the shoe.