Bicyclists have long had two primary choices when it comes to bike pedals: clipless and platform pedals. The former offers much better efficiency and helps keep the feet planted on the pedal in the proper position, but can be difficult to disengage and can cause awkward, wheel-over-ass crashes. The platform pedal is easy to pull off of and makes leaping off the bike for your life a possiblity, but really wastes energy and also allows your feet to slide around (and possibly off) the pedal. For years, cyclists have dreamt of a compromise.
Mavic has introduced a new magnetic bicycle shoe/pedal combination that doesn't exactly solve all problems, but it does provide an attractive alternative. The EZ-Ride Evolve pedals feature a magnetic-based interface that secures the soles of the shoes to the pedal, making for safer, more secure pedaling. The pedals also keep the shoes in optimal pedaling position, not allowing for the sliding that occurs with platforms. It doesn't appear that the magnetic system will offer the same pedaling efficiency as clipless systems, but perhaps after some practice, it could provide a slight boost--the magnetics must be secure enough to give you some kind of upward pull. Disengaging is simply a matter of stepping off, so presumably the rider will be able to bail from the bike in the event of a sudden crash.
While others have balked at the fact that it is a proprietary system that requires you to buy both Mavic shoes and pedals, the combination is competitively priced at $60 for the pedals and $90 for the shoes so this shouldn't be a big deal.
As a mountain biker that has long avoided clipless pedals, I'd be willing to give these a shot to see what benefits/disadvantages they bring in the field.