For fans of Back to the Future and Nike shoes, Nike’s HyperAdapt 1.0 fulfills an idea most people thought might never come true — the first ever self-lacing shoe. Meant to embody Marty McFly’s Nike Mag shoes in Back to the Future, these new shoes are meant to be a platform for adaptive apparel.
After first reading about these shoes, I viewed them strictly from a consumer’s perspective. But as I did more reading, the requirements analyst in me went wild.
The technology behind the first HyperAdapt 1.0 version seems intuitively simple. The wearer puts on the shoe and the shoe immediately registers the wearer’s weight and foot position in the shoe. Once the sensors read the foot position, the mechanism in the bottom of the shoe engages tiny pulleys to contract the laces over the tongue of the shoe. The wearer can then manually adjust the tightness using a plus or minus sign on the side of the shoe. Simple, right?
It didn’t hit me that every piece of the technology in that shoe is bursting with requirements, until I thought about my current project. After that realization, a multitude of potential requirements went running through my head.
“What requirements were written to determine when the mechanism stops tightening the laces?”
“What requirements were written relating to error handling?”
“What requirements were written to determine a wearer’s weight on an uneven surface?”
All these ideas, requirements, and questions flooded my brain as I read more about this shoe. Never before had I thought about products, other than software, from a requirements perspective. But as the line between technology and clothing becomes more blurred, with items like smart watches and smart glasses, the need for requirements analysis and IT product management in other industries will only increase.
Once a far-off dream, the idea of self-adjusting shoes has come to life. Likewise, the tech industry continues to expand and branch out into unfamiliar areas. As this trend continues, the world of software development will spread into areas people never dreamed it would. As someone new to this industry and method of thinking/problem solving, I could not be more excited for what the future holds.
I’m sure there are more industries where requirements analysis and IT product management are extremely necessary. What are some areas that involve software development that took you by surprise? If you have any thoughts or experiences relating to the world of requirements, IT product management, or software development you would like to share, feel free to comment.
For more information on the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0, here is the Nike news article.
Photo of Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 courtesy of Nike Inc.