Nike’s high-tech designs may hold blueprint for its future
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Nike’s high-tech designs may hold blueprint for its future

Nike’s high-tech designs may hold blueprint for its future

Nike’s one of the hottest stocks on the market right now – last week it led the market up for four days, delivering 8% positive performance to investors. This is partly down to a halo effect from an earnings beat the company reported in December. And it’s partly down to rival Under Armour logging an earnings miss that has impacted its performance over the same time frame. But if news circulating online is anything to go by, there’s another reason to be positive about Nike’s immediate future: the engineering inside its most up-to-date pair of trainers.

Nike looked strong in the second week of February
As of 13 February 2017 56.32


SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

San Francisco Bay Area engineering firm Mindtribe got a pair of Nike’s HyperAdapt self-lacing shoes onto its workbench last week and took a look inside. What they saw might just hint at some of Nike’s future plans.

Mindtribe noted that the shoes included “a peripheral connector, which has several unpopulated pins, and even a 3-pin header coming off it with nothing connected to the other end.” This, according to online technology magazine TechCrunch, could point to “a modular system with peripherals being rolled out for later.”

According to TechCrunch, the ‘easy money’ for what these add-ons might be should, in the first instance, be placed on an integrated pedometer for its Nike+ app, which Nike has previously divulged the possibility of. But, it also states that “a slightly more far-out idea suggests a kinetic-powered system that uses steps to power the shoes’ batteries.”

The final point of importance from Mindtribe was the observation that an ARM Cortex M4 – the ‘engine’ in the self-lacing shoes – is way more powerful than is necessary or sensible unless Nike has more stuff in the pipeline to justify it.

It’s been 20 years since Hollywood hit ‘Back to the Future 2’ popularized the idea of self-lacing trainers. But it looks like, having waited this long, we might suddenly get a whole lot more than we bargained for.

With connected fitness on the rise, and given the business-sense that an integrated, online, ecosystem makes, the internal architecture of Nike’s $700 trainers could be even more revelatory than is currently being reported.

Dominion holds Pandora in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.

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