Nike’s Decision to Discontinue $350 Self-Tying Sneaker App Sparks Considerable Disappointment

$350, app, Nike, self-tying sneakers

In 2019, Nike made a significant stride towards popularizing self-tying sneakers with the release of the Adapt BB. These sneakers, which featured app-controllable LED lights, could be paired with the Adapt app via Bluetooth, allowing users to adjust the tightness of the laces and control the lights. However, Nike recently announced that it will be “retiring” the app on August 6, rendering it undownloadable and unupdateable from the app stores.

Nike’s explanation for discontinuing the app is that the company is no longer creating new versions of the Adapt shoes. While current owners will still be able to use the app after August 6, it is expected that future iOS and Android updates may make the app unusable. Additionally, those who purchase new devices will no longer be able to download the Adapt app.

The removal of the app means that wearers will lose the ability to change the color of the LED lights on their sneakers. The lights will either remain in the last color scheme selected via the app or default to a standard color. Despite still having on-shoe buttons to control basic functions such as on/off, battery check, lace tightness adjustment, and fit setting save, the lack of app control can be seen as a significant drawback for those who were drawn to the $350 Adapt BB sneakers.

Unsurprisingly, owners of the Adapt BB sneakers have expressed disappointment upon hearing the news. Many have called the decision “hyper bullshit” and “immensely disappointing.” Some users hope that Nike will open-source the app so that customers can continue to enjoy the full functionality of their shoes, but the company has not announced any plans to do so.

This move by Nike raises questions about the sustainability of products tied to technology. While it may not be feasible for companies to dedicate development teams to maintain apps for discontinued products, there is an argument for offering alternatives or making the app open-source. Customers who have invested significant amounts of money in these products expect continued support and maintenance, both for physical and digital components.

Nike’s decision to discontinue the Adapt app for the Adapt BB sneakers is not an isolated incident. Various companies have disappointed early adopters of tech-integrated products in the past, such as Amazon, Oral-B, and Spotify. As corporations rush to integrate technology into their products to stand out in the market and generate revenue, customers unwittingly become test subjects for products that are eventually abandoned. This pattern ultimately erodes consumer trust in these innovative but volatile products.

The frustration expressed by users like henkmanz on Reddit highlights the loss of faith in products supported by apps. If a multi-billion dollar company like Nike is unable to provide long-term support for a sneaker, how can consumers trust other manufacturers, such as toaster makers or automakers, to do the same? This sentiment reflects a growing weariness towards technology-dependent products and the lack of sustainability in their development and maintenance.

In conclusion, Nike’s decision to retire the Adapt app for their self-tying Adapt BB sneakers has sparked disappointment among owners. While wearers will still have some control over basic functions, the lack of app support means losing the ability to change LED colors and potential future compatibility issues. This move raises concerns about the sustainability of tech-integrated products and the responsibility of companies to provide long-term support for their customers. As more consumers experience the frustration of discontinued technology-dependent products, they may become increasingly hesitant to invest in similar innovative offerings.

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