Help Please: Power Laces Project For the Back to the Future 2015 Sneakers

The Nike Hyperdunks 2015 edition are cool reminders of the love we all have for Back to the Future. But I think you'll agree when I say they'd be like 100x cooler with power laces. So I've been chatting up Phil Torrone, Nick Bilton, and a few others nerds to get some ideas on how to do it. We're researching how to make them, and if you've got advice or think you can pull it off, let me know! If we can make it happen, I think it should be pretty easy to donate them to a museum for display. Here are some of the design challenges:

What do we want? We want to build something like this:

• The motion in the video clip above suggests that pneumatics is the way to go. The tension can be regulated by an adjustable valve. The canister need not be mounted on the shoe, since we can run hosing down from a leg mount. A motor wouldn't have enough torque to lace a shoe without much gearing, and even then, it would be very slow. And the motor and gearbox would have to be mounted on the shoe somewhere. Bulky.

• I'm playing around with the idea of needing one lace or many individual laces. One lace will require a lot of tension and the upper section might cinch up. Either way, the leather holes in the shoe need to be punched out and opened up with plastic or brass holes to reduce friction.

Anyone else have any other thoughts?

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