Nike is killing the app for its futuristic Adapt BB sneakers

Nike is discontinuing its self-lacing Adapt BB sneakers and providing a case in point of what can happen to tech that relies on apps. First announced in 2019, the sneakers used a Back to the Future II style power-lacing system called FitAdapt that was adjustable either manually or with an app. Now, the company will no longer make new Adapt shoes and is retiring the Nike Adapt App, it announced in a help document spotted by The Verge.

“After five years, we’re retiring the Adapt App and removing it from the Apple and Android app stores, globally, on August 6, 2024,” the page states. “Don’t worry, your Adapt shoes will continue to work without the app. See below for more information about the retirement of the Adapt App.”

A FAQ goes on to state that the Adapt app “should continue to function” follow its removal, if you already have it installed. You won’t be able to move it to a new device, though, and future iOS updates may limit or end functionality.

Nike goes on to state that if the app is removed, the shoes will retain the last light color selected. Features still available without it include power on, check battery status, adjust your fit, save your fit, unlace shoes and power off.

Perhaps the biggest loss with the end of Adapt is in accessibility, as the shoes were marketed in part as a way to make shoe tying easier for people with limited mobility. It also shows the danger of tying functionality of physical technology to custom apps — once the app loses support, the product gets a lot worse and there’s not much you can do about it.

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