Puma, the third largest athletic shoe company in the world, is set to take on arch rival Nike and launch its auto-lacing smart shoe called the Fit Intelligence (Fi) in Spring 2020. Priced at a competitive $330, Fi is cheaper than Nike’s Adapt BB—a comparable self-lacing smart basketball shoe--by nearly $20.
This new variety of sports shoes can be connected to an app, from which the laces can be adjusted with a swipe of a finger. As of now, the app is available only with IPhone or Apple Watch, but it will also be available on Android phones soon.
The shoe will be fitted with an in-built battery fitted under its sole that can be charged through a wireless charging dock or by swapping out the batteries. Normally, the battery will last about a week.
The launch of this smart shoe has long been on Puma's agenda, as they've been striving to associate its products with the latest and upcoming technology. In fact, the company is even contemplating opening up its technology to developers that may allow third parties to create variety of apps around this smart shoe.
With this development, it seems Puma is entering a new growth phase where digital technology meets the physical world. According to the company, the Fi system is only the latest step forward, as far as Puma’s experimentation with computerized sneakers go.
In 1986, Puma introduced the RS-Computer, which allowed the wearer to track his or her movement, log the data, and view training metrics.