Turning imagination into reality — Amplifying the new AirMax 270 with MACHINA’s technology to control a dance performance in real time.
Nike Air has been a platform for creativity. Its philosophy has been adopted by artists, musicians, collectors, creative communities and culture in general worldwide.
To boost the future of the air, Nike empowers young creators to form the new path that will take us to the future of Nike ON AIR. Machina was chosen as one of the young creators to transform, ideate and promote a new way to represent AIR.
Nike has evolved their products into lifestyle icons for millions of consumers across the world and they do this by innovating through design, technology and manufacturing. Nike is not just about selling shoes or athletic apparel- it is constantly pitching a lifestyle. A lifestyle that everyone feels they need to have. How can we represent this lifestyle having AIR as a basic form of inspiration?
Smart shoes — The latest wearable phenomenon? For the people who know us, that understand our vision, our mission has ALWAYS been to have technology completely seamless, functional and intuitive. It has all been about creating wearables that are actually wearable. (If you do not know what I am talking about check out some of our products here).
That being said, how are we going to integrate our latest technology development into the latest Air Max 270 without being noticed and still be understandable to the audience that there is a performance going on, being completely controlled from a sneaker? This was our challenge.
Over the years, MACHINA has sought the best multidisciplinary talents with whom to collaborate. For this collaboration, MACHINA chose UNIK BREAKERS a group of Mexican B-Boys that started in 2007. Best known for being the first group to leave their country and represent Mexico in Europe. Many of its members have excelled in various competitions around the world such as IBE (Netherlands), Octagon World Final (Switzerland), Hip Hop International (USA), Outbreak Group (Europe), United Styles Europe (Switzerland), World Red Bull BC among others. The work of the group has led them to film several music videos, concerts and festivals with artists such as Disclosure, Thalia, Nortec Collective to name a few. UNIK BREAKERS are officially our dancing performers to control lights, audio, fog and Co2; music soundtrack produced by Naked Geometry.
MACHINA amplifies NIKE’s Air Max 270 to be transformed into air controllers through dancing movements. We made this possible by integrating our latest technology development into each air max 270 called OBE (Out of Body Experience).
Featuring the biggest airbag in the heel , the Air Max 270 delivers a super soft silhouette that feels as impossible as it looks and for the first time it will go beyond by being able to trigger Co2 jet machines, fog, lights and alter audio all by recording bboys body gestures. Thanks to MACHINA’s technology, dancing moves will stop being a simple choreography form and become tangible effects through different applications.
How does it work?
We carefully integrated our technology into each sneaker to later be compatible via bluetooth communication chanel to our mobile application. After several days of capturing different gestures from each b-boy; the UNIK Breakers where ready to practice.
By having each sneaker paired with our mobile app, we get the possibility to manipulate MIDI & DMX communication protocols like lights, sound, fog and Co2 machines.
After UNIK Breakers created the choreography that would detonate each fog machine and Co2 we needed to practice in a replicated environment from the stage they where planning to perform in. We did a replica of what the stage would look like back at our workshop. It was crucial for B-Boys to be familiarized with the fact that for each move they made there would be a call to action around them on stage.
An Interactive Performance was born
The MASTAX performance takes its inspiration from the MASTAX beetle, a small creature that fires toxic gases when in danger.
The performance uses MACHINA’s extension of self technology to adapt into Nike’s footwear and use it to control machinery. Using its technology, MACHINA has converted the UNIK Breaker dancers into rhythmic crawlers, who use their newly acquired mechanisms to release gas at the slightest provocation.
At dark, the UNIK Breakers, like the MASTAX beetle, gather together in moist, protected places like the inside of hollow logs and under large rocks. After eating dinner, they leave their refuge and travel together, the MASTAX beetle looking to survive , the UNIK Breakers looking to entertain using the Air Max 270 as their secret weapon.
We like our wearables to feel natural. Instead of being conscious that you are wearing a technical device, we want people to ideally feel they have an added bonus by not wearing any additional item. We believe that with this collaboration we accomplished this successfully. Check MASTAX out!
Out of all of the brands that we have worked with so far, this has been one of our craziest and funniest projects yet. We would like to thank UNIK Breakers for believing in all of our crazy ideas for the past six years. Naked Geometry for his supreme talent and patience in creating a song that would represent this collaboration as a whole and Nike for being an every day inspiration in all aspects from design and unstoppable innovation. It has been a dream to be part of this.
On the weekend of March 24th, Nike’s Air Max Day will honour the game changing midsole that propelled footwear design forward. Air debuted on 1987’s Air Max 1 when the trainer became the first to showcase visible Air and since that time the revolutionary design has evolved into an instantly recognisable aesthetic.
MACHINA will give a two hour workshop with it’s current technology development OBE (Out of Body Experience) where attendees will be able to “hack” their Nike’s. Through this workshop we bring all participants a unique converge of the importance of design, balance of form and function.
The annual event is a celebration of old and new technology. Looking forward to the launch of their latest Air Max 270 in a selection of vibrant coulourways.
By: @LindaLFranco Co-Founder at Machina Wearable Technology