by Linda Machina

NIKE Music Controller Sneaker Workshop by MACHINA

NIKE Music Controller Sneaker Workshop by MACHINA

MACHINA was invited to give a workshop for Nike ON AIR Mexico City where attendees would learn how to “hack” their Nike shoes. Our Air Max day workshop was shaped by the following five stages of footwear technology integration creation:


Nike ON AIR Musical Instrument Sneaker Workshop from MACHINA on Vimeo.


  1. What’s in the Box? — We delivered to every participant a sneaker box designed by us with different materiales to explore the different integration processes of OBE technology into each sneaker.


2. Concept Development — Participants explored ideas and researched the silhouette that each one of them was wearing. This opened their minds into exploring different materials and highlight the best features that each of their sneakers had to propose technology intergrated solutions in terms of usability and aesthetics.

People who where wearing a NIKE Vapormax model used different thread and plastics to integrate our technology than any of the original NIKE Air Max model.

3. Physics for dummies — OBE Technology uses an IMU (inertial motion unit). An IMU is an electronic device that measures and reports in this case a body’s specific force, angular rate, and sometimes the magnetic field surrounding the body, using a combination of accelerometersgyroscopes and magnetometers.

We use this to measure the movement inside the sneaker by acceleration. We use acceleration to trigger magic!

Use case: MASTAX — A collaboration of Nike + Machina


In this planet which we like to call earth, gravity is always the same (9.81m/s2). This means this specific sensors is always analyzing the force in the axes (XYZ), if the movement is really fast or really slow the IMU immediately takes notice and uses that acceleration to change. If you want to trigger faster notes (movements like kicks) or slow notes (movements like steps).

This was a of crucial importance for users to understand because it was the only way for them to understand how the app will react according to their movements.


5. Connectivity/ App Download — We asked all attendees to download our MACHINA MIDI app that works as MIDI controller. Triggers notes using buttons, faders and knots, inside any app that uses virtual MIDI as a communication protocol like (Garageband, Alchemy Synth, DM1 — The Drum Machine, among others.)

After synchronizing their Nike sneakers with our mobile app, users had the choice to select specific notes to be triggered with their steps.

In the upcoming months, we are planning update the app with new features.


All participants succesfully “hacked” their Nike’s shoes in a lapse of two hours and connected it to our mobile app in order to control different musical apps such as Garage Band, Alchemy Synth, Magix Music Maker Jam and many more .

Check all amplified sneakers here.

By: The Machina Team — @MachinaWT