Power Laces 'Back to the Future' Shoes on 'GMA'

Self-Tightening Shoes, Back From the Future
Share
Copy

Don't worry, you're not time traveling ... yet. That self-tightening shoe you saw on "Good Morning America" was only inspired by the time-traveling '80s classic "Back to the Future 2."

Developed by amateur tinkerer Blake Bevin, the Power Laces Shoe (version 2.5), took a page from the Michael J. Fox movie and was created in less than five months. Bevin, a 27-year-old hotel manager by day, had no formal electronics training.

Bevin told "Good Morning America" today that she developed the shoes with her grandmother in mind. Bevin's grandmother, like Fox, lives with Parkinson's disease -- meaning automatic shoes could simplify getting dressed.

"I thought that something like that might be able to help people who can't tie shoes on their own," Bevin told ABC News earlier this month.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Bevin's Power Laces from her project on Power-Laces.com.

The shoe uses small motors that pull the shoe laces tight at the touch of a small button on the side of the shoe.

To develop the shoe, Bevin started a project on Kickstarter.com, a website created "as a new way to fund creative ideas and ambitious endeavors" through donations, according to the website. Currently, 128 people have contributed to the Power Laces.

Bevin said she hoped to use the donations to hire a couple of engineers to help her develop the final version of the Power Laces.

That version will include a special heel censor to trigger the tightening, meaning the wearer can do it with no hands.

Nike's 'Automatic Lacing System' Patent

Bevin's invention has raised eyebrows for some in the tech community as it seems to rival a patent filed by Nike in April 2009 for what it called an "Automatic Lacing System."

That system similarly features a button on the side of the shoe and an internal motor system to tighten the laces.

The design picture accompanying the Nike patent also reveals the shoe's undeniably '80s style. (Fun Fact: The shoes Michael J. Fox's Marty McFly rocks in "Back to the Future 2"? Nike Air 2015 Power Laces.)

But Bevin, who holds no patents yet and said she only plans to file for one once she gets enough funding to develop the hands-free version of her shoe, does not believe the two designs overlap.

"There are some similarities [in the current version], because I'm pretty limited in what I can do with the basic equipment I have. But the final version will be a completely different mechanism," Bevin said. "I really don't think there's going to be any patent dispute or anything like that."

Though she's never done a major project like this before, Bevin said she is known around her hotel for what she called McGyverisms -- getting broken things to work using whatever means necessary.

That style of invention by necessity has clearly followed into her shoe's development -- there's a little bit of duct tape holding things together in the 2.5 version.

Bevin promises duct tape will not be involved, however, in the final shoe design.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11743430. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11743430. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11743430. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11743430. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11743430. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11743430. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11743430.
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...