Nike’s Virtual Reality Shoe Design Patent

Nike’s virtual reality shoe design technology may change the footwear design process as we know it.

Let’s face it, taping up shoe lasts and sketching onto them is a process we’ve developed that really could use some advancement. It’s something that’s worked adequately for quite some time, but with the advancement of technology and more complicated development options available, there really needs to be an upgrade.

Luckily, it looks like Nike has patented a process in which a head mounted display & pen would enable us (well…them) to harness virtual reality technology and digitally¬†sketch directly onto a last. A slightly better option than the taped up method one could say.

What’s also interesting is that the patterns you create could be sent directly to the factory or uploaded to a laser pattern cutter. It would eliminate a decent amount human error initially. One of the biggest killers in the development of a design is the communication of vital information to a factory worker that often doesn’t speak the same language as you. With this tech you could have your design ready to be sewn/glued together without anyone ever picking up a real pen, tape or knife. It would also make detailed tech packs slightly less important as the factory can simply use the file you send to print a matching last and corresponding patterns. They can create a sample directly from your files (for the upper at-least) rather than trying to work from 2D renderings and tech packs.

Of course, sneakerhead websites are excited about the possibility of this being used for some type of extended NikeID platform. Which would be cool, with some major limitations applied. I’m assuming it would be some type of special installment at a NikeID store or something, which is limited to purely customising current models, etc.

For designers however, this really could be revolutionary, and is something that has honestly needed updating for a long time. Should be interesting to see how/when this happens.

via – Quartz




Mr. Bailey

Product Designer + Footwear Architect | Founder of @ConceptKicks |

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