Nike’s self-lacing Adapt BB sneakers are losing their remote control mobile app

Without the app, owners can use the physical buttons on the sneakers to power them on and off, check battery status, tighten or loosen the laces, and save a single preset, but there will be no way to adjust the shoe’s lighting.

The power laces on the Nike Adapt BB basketball shoes, which were worn by athletes like Jayson Tatum and Luka Doncic, were adjustable using buttons on the sneakers themselves or over Bluetooth. The app also allowed users to configure three tightness presets and adjust the color of LED lights on the shoes — features that will continue to function for Adapt BB users who already have the app installed on their phones.

After August 6th, however, Nike warns users that they “won’t be able to move the app to a new device, and future iOS updates may limit or end functionality, or may completely remove the app from your device.”

Nike’s decision to retire the app is another reminder of the challenges of designing smart apparel. Most consumers might be used to the idea of upgrading a smartphone every few years, but an electronic pair of shoes or a smart denim jacket can remain in someone’s wardrobe for decades, long after a company stops selling the product.

It’s not entirely surprising when a company chooses to stop paying for the upkeep and continued development of an app for a product it’s no longer making money on, but that doesn’t take the sting out of losing functionality on your five-year-old kicks.

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