German fitness brand, Puma, has announced its own self-lacing sneakers not long after Nike unveiled its self-lacing footwear.
Dubbed “Fi” for “Fit Intelligence,” are training shoes designed for running and light workouts with smart sensing technology that allows the shoes to recognise and adapt its fit to the individual wearer.
The Fi sneakers feature a control module on top of the shoe which contains a micromotor that pulls the blue “laces” that run through the sneaker to the preferred tightness of the wearer — this can be adjusted via a smartphone app or Apple Watch.
“We have created a product that speaks to the future of sport which is life in motion. It’s fast and changing all the time,” says Charles Johnson, PUMA’s Global Director of Innovation, in a released statement.
The FI sneakers are the follow-up to the AutoDisc, Puma’s first wirelessly connected self-lacing sneakers released in 2016. But they claim the FI sneakers are “smaller, lighter, and more commercial”
These self-lacing sneakers can be charged with a Qi wireless charging pad, and the battery life is claimed to last for around five days. Not as extensive as the two-weeks boasted by Nike’s HyperAdapt BBs.
In order to ensure their commercial viability, PUMA has asked “tech-savvy people” to take part in its beta test of the FI, to make it “even more smarter and more powerful”.
As the only “smart” aspect of the shoes are the self-lacing feature, one would hope that like the rereleased 1986 RS-Computer shoe, the FI would eventually including tracking capabilities for distance or calories burned.
PUMA will announce when the beta-test registration is open on PUMATrac and its website.
The Fi training shoe is slated for an official commercial launch in 2020, retailing for US$330, about US$20 cheaper than Nike’s HyperAdapt BBs.