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The Self-Tying Shoelace Has Arrived

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We're starting to suspect that Robert Zemeckis actually has a time machine stashed in his basement. The writer and director of the Back to the Future series is just a little bit too 'on the money' with his technological predictions for our liking. 

In 2014, the year before Marty McFly is supposed to touch down in the futuristic Hill Valley, we've seen the arrival of hoverboardsholograms performing on TV and now some genius has invented self-tying laces. It's all a little too... convenient.

The latest futuristic technology to have made the transition from sci-fi to sci-real is the Powerlace - an auto-lacing trainer that tightens your laces as soon as you step into the shoe. The mechanical solution doesn't work in the exact way Zemeckis had envisaged it with Nike's self-tying classic: as you step into the Powerlace trainer, your heel presses down on a lever, providing just the right amount of tension to pull the shoe's wire laces tight. To untie, another lever on the outer heel of the shoe releases the tension and allows you to step out of the Powerlace. 

Laces
Laces

While this might sound like a more complicated process than just tying your shoe laces, the working prototypes of the Powerlace design show that it's a smooth, elegant solution. However, the system won't be finding its way into shoe shops in time for McFly's arrival without some much-needed funding: Powerlace has launched a Kickstarter campaign to get their first trainer into mass production, with an eye-watering target of $650,000 (£415,200). 

There's still a lot of time left on the project's Kickstarter clock, but should they fall short of their mammoth target, we wouldn't be surprised if the publicity for the technology draws in a larger shoe company to snap it up. You'll just have to watch this space. Or ask Zemeckis if you can borrow his time machine. 

(Images: Kickstarter/The Powerteam)

[Via: CNet]

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