At the risk of sounding old – wait a minute, I am old – what’s up with Nike’s Back to the Future II self-lacing shoes? They’re called Hyper Adapt 1.0, and their official US release date is November 28th. That’s right, I said self-lacing. Equipped with a magnetic adapter which takes three hours to fully charge, once the user slips her foot into the shoe, a sensor located in the heel will be activated, and the shoe will tighten. Users can adjust the laces to tighten or loosen by pressing a plus or minus sign button on the side of the shoe. I can see the lineups now as “sneakerheads” and fans of the hit 1989 movie run to get into their first pair.
The idea of not lacing up “running shoes,” as we like to call them in the north, is nothing new. But this tech version represents a new take. Yes, technology continues to affect every part of our existence. Right down to our air jordans. But is this another gimmick, or a practical solution, to an everyday need. And what about the life skill of tying laces? I can’t speak for everyone, but this was one of my first big accomplishments in life. The same questions about writing skills come to mind as technology becomes more immersed in our early childhood education.
Ok, so how does this relate to mortgages? Without question, technology is equally shaping the lives of consumers in the market for mortgages. Advancements in technology have had a profound impact on the mortgage business. Look no further than where you might be reading this blog from. But the one caution I felt compelled to write about after I read about the Nike Hyper Adapt, was the price we pay for “convenience.” First of all, Nike has not yet revealed the price of its new shoes, but I’m sure there will be a premium for the convenience, not to mention the R&D costs they will want to recover. We always pay extra for convenience. Most staples you purchase from the handy variety store will cost more than if you took the extra time to drive to the grocery store. The same goes with your mortgage. Did you let the bank look after paying your property taxes? The very same goes for mortgage life insurance. How much time did you invest in getting the right mortgage for you? Was it quick and easy, or did you invest some time, and speak with one or more trusted advisors.
As the old adage goes, don’t get caught with your pants down. Or maybe I should say, don’t get caught with your shoe laces undone. If you’re like me, you have more than one pair of running shoes. Maybe this fits one more purpose. Gimmick or not, you can decide. Watch Nike’s video below, and try not to get too excited.