You Can Allegedly Now Brick Your Nikes, Thanks to the Miracle of Technology

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum decked out in Nike Adapt BB self-lacing sneakers.
Photo: Elise Amendola (AP)

Wow, technology. Papal apps. Speculative e-currency that sucks up as much energy as a small country. Shopping carts that spy on you. And now, a pair of $350, motor-and-gear-train-packed Nikes that link up with an app to control their fit... and that you can reportedly “brick” by connecting them to an Android.

No, reader, I am not here to shame you for spending $350 on self-lacing e-shoes. (Look, at least you’re splurging on fitness instead of a beer Keurig or something.) I am merely here to inform you that the age of shoe-bricking upon us.

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According to CNET, users have reported that the Android app for Nike Adapt BB shoes (though not the iOS version) is experiencing serious technical glitches following a recent firmware update. Reviews posted to the app’s download page say that it continually fails to connect to one shoe or the other, as well as that the firmware update appears to have “bricked” the shoes. In some cases they can be manually reset through an annoying process, though the Verge reported that some users have said the shoe’s motors stopped functioning entirely no matter what they did.

CNET helpfully noted that the shoes continue to be shoes, regardless of whether the app works, and that buttons on the side continue to function:

You’re still able to wear the sneakers and walk around in them, but all the smart features from the app stopped working with the update, frustrated users said.

“The first software update for the shoe threw an error while updating, bricking the right shoe,” Asa Domolky, a reviewer, wrote on the app.

... Usually bricking tend to render devices completely useless, at least the Adapt BB just turns into a regular pair of sneakers. You’re also still able to control the fit through the buttons on the side.

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In one comment on the Google Play Store, a user detailed what he said was the annoying process of resetting an Adapt BB:

TO HARD-RESET SHOES: 1) For one shoe, hold both buttons at the same time for 5 seconds. You’ll see TWO RED FLASHES and then a SOLID RED BEFORE FADE. 2) After, press + hold one button THROUGHOUT THIS PROCESS. Once it turns WHITE, press + hold other button THREE TIMES, ONE OR TWO SECONDS EACH TIME. First time will turn RED. Second time will turn YELLOW. Third time will turn GREEN. Let buttons go for 15 seconds; it’s fully reset. Repeat for other shoe. Connection should work! Skip 2/14/19 update!

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Nike did not respond to a request for comment from CNET, though it replied to an angry user on the Play Store page that “We are aware of the issue and are actively working on a solution.”

Wow, technology. Incredible. Makes you think.

[CNET/The Verge]

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Tom McKay

"... An upperclassman who had been researching terrorist groups online." - Washington Post