i also came across this today.
if you get tired of lacing your shoes every time you go outside, then the lace-amatic is the perfect gadget for you. this small two-part plastic mechanism acts as a ratchet to tighten up pre-tied shoes allowing users to slip on their shoe and tighten it up without retying a bow every time. the lace-amatic slips over the shoe's laces and once twisted, it tightens up the laces just like tying them up. while you may be thinking this is a rather useless invention for lazy people who don't want to tie their shoelaces, it was actually designed for older people and those with reduced mobility, for whom bending down to tie up their shoes is a difficult task.
what a great idea! some of the best ideas come from designs aimed at the less able. only the other day i saw someone with one of those tennis-ball-throwing-things for dogs, and was thinking about it. originally designed to aid old people who couldn't throw balls for their dogs, this has since gone on to sell millions, mainly to able bodied, active people who just want to be able to throw really far!