Sunday, December 09, 2007


Questions et hypothèses sur l'avenir de la mobilité urbaine à travers la marque Nike

En quinze ans, nous sommes passés de la voiture reine au piéton roi, basquets aux pieds, mobile en poche et écouteurs à l’oreille. Nike a compris cette mutation des imaginaires de la mobilité avant bien d'autres. « Aujourd’hui les jeunes se sentent plus libres avec le couple iPod / basket qu’avec une voiture », reconnaît un constructeur automobile.

Quand Nike invente la voiture 100% écolo

Partant du principe qu’il portait les valeurs de cette nouvelle mobilité associant sport et nouvelle technologie, l’équipementier a inventé une nouvelle voiture : la Nike One. Ce concept car a une double particularité. La première est d'avoir été imaginée comme le prolongement de l’homme et de son activité physique. Cette voiture 100 % écologique est, en effet, censée marcher à la chaleur humaine, transformée en énergie grâce à de nouveaux textiles intelligents. La seconde particularité est que cette voiture n’est « consuisible » que sur Gran Turismo, jeu de course automobile développé par Sony pour sa PlayStation.

Comment cela fonctionne

 In 2012, The Nike Sports Research Lab developed the first so-called Spark Suit. Essentially a wearable generator, it used nano-ion pumps to convert any movement—running, walking, even breathing, into usable electricity. A new generation of Microbatts and Microcaps made it possible to capture and store this electricity for later use. This technology has affected geo-politics worldwide and seen various applications in the sport world, especially as evidenced in a new vehicle called the Nike ONE.

Early History

- The Spark Suit was essentially an accident. Originally developed as a training counterpart to Nike’s Swift Suit, it was designed to strategically impede movement. Internally called the Slow Suit, the idea was that strategic impedance would build muscle mass and improve coordination—Like the weights used by baseball players in an on-deck circle. This clothing would subtly and strategically strengthen and hone an athlete’s muscles.

The year was 2002 and Nanotechnology was in its infancy. Perhaps the greatest design challenge that Nike faced was in bleeding off the charge that inevitably built up around the nano-ion pumps. These microscopic bio-machines convert kinetic energy (movement) into tiny charges that cross potassium-sodium pathways by the mech-version of saltatory action—basically a muscle cell in reverse. Muscle cells generate tremendous heat. Since our bodies have an incredibly sophisticated system for dissipating heat, the early versions of the Spark Suit tried to utilize the body’s natural mechanism for thermoregulation. They were brutally hot. As the effectiveness of the nano-pumps increased, the thermoregulation solutions had to keep pace. Nike designers experimented with a method that turned the electricity into light—hence the name Spark Suit. These versions were incredibly bright, as energy was bled off via fiber-optic pulses. 10 years in development, the Spark suit looked to be doomed to obscurity.
Microbatts & Microcaps
- Fortunately, Nike’s research was synchronous with the development of ultra-efficient, superconducting batteries and capacitors—so-called Microbatts and Microcaps. When Nike designers made the connection that there was no need to dissipate the energy—that they could effectively store and transfer it—a revolution in product design was perhaps the smallest result.

Global Upheaval
Within a few years, global energy policy was turned on its head. N.O.P.E.C, the New Organization of Power Exporting Countries quickly replaced O.P.E.C as petroleum reserves dwindled and extraction became too costly to justify. Any nation with an active populace could become a world power. The so-called “sportocracies” gained prominence as countries slow to catch the EMC2 wave saw fossil-fuel powered industries fail against the comparatively cheap bio-lectricity. Even a small country with 300 million people could capture 20 terawatts per day, more than enough to power heavy industrial concerns like automotive manufacturing. As individuals became their own power source, obesity rates world-wide dropped drastically. Hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and type 2 adult-onset diabetes were effectively eliminated.
The Nike ONE

- Their new EMC2 vehicle—the Nike ONE, uses the next generation of the E-Suit combined with heel mounted Microcaps and internal Microbatts to power its HEP drive (Human Energy Potential) with speeds up to 230 MPH. Because the vehicle is powered solely by an individual’s personal energy reserves, transferred to the Microbatts from prior training sessions, combined with their ability to create energy on-the-fly, a new breed of athlete has arisen. Intense mental focus, combined with the need for tremendous physical stamina and a unique blend of fast/slow twitch muscle fibers, make those who master the Nike ONE amongst the most respected athletes on the planet.

- Training to compete in the Nike ONE at an elite level is legendarily intense. Foundational methods follow the basic tenets now familiar to users of Nike’s EMC2 products. Specifically, focused neuromuscular control training to recruit adjacent/local muscle groups (plyometrics) combined with strategic high-load strength training. Intensive cardio work is recommended to improve the efficiency of aerobic respiration. Meanwhile, elite drivers of the Nike ONE have been known to pursue intensive regimens aimed at building tolerance to lactate, a harmful byproduct of anaerobic respiration. This is commonly referred to as pain-training, or PT, and is NOT RECOMMENDED for any but the most serious competitors. PT Methods include sitting against a wall for hours on end, repeated deep lunges while carrying enormous weights, and so-called micro-methods, like standing on the tips of your toes or hanging by the hands from a bar for hours at a time.
About the Car

- Drivers of the Nike ONE describe it as a cross between wearing a machine and being a machine. Control, acceleration and braking is achieved with the large muscle groups of the legs and arms, similar to working on gym training equipment vs. traditional wrist and ankle movements. The driver controls are centered around a gyroscopic cyber-throttle which integrates cornering, acceleration and braking in a single mental motion. The mind-machine interface uses one non-invasive bio-port at each hand to connect neurotransmitters in the brain to neuro-tranceivers in the vehicle CPU. All controls feature the latest generation Supersensortm components enabling micro-resolute command-calls for maximum efficiency in breaking, acceleration and cornering. Drivers say it helps them make tiny adjustments in speed and direction, and contributes to their overall feeling of connection, power and oneness.
The Nike ONE utilizes heads-up display with race line tracking, energy reserves, etc… Max Optics Smart Glass that adjusts color to conditions for optimal contrast and clarity, Hub-less MMIW micro-motor-in-wheel, carbon/titainium weave flex frame/suspension, active aero, variable profile regrind tires (motorcycle-like strait line profile and racing slick-like cornering profile) combined with active camber/caster, Nike SHOX seat suspension to name a number of the high-end innovations.

Et si c'était tout simplement la plus belle histoire automobile jamais inventée depuis longtemps ? C'est en tout cas ce que je suis tenté de penser, tant le rôle de la fiction me paraît essentiel pour construire des scénarios du futur.
D'autres jugeront sans doute qu'il ne s'agit là que d'un élément de plus dans la nouvelle saga des Storytelling que décrypte si bien Christian Salmon dans son dernier bouquin éponyme.
Les deux options ne sont pas forcément contradictoires.