Monday, December 28, 2009

Augmented Reality on a Adidas Sneaker

Adidas has created a virtual 3-D world that can be accessed using an upcoming line of five men’s sneakers in an idea that ties into one of the technology trends of the year: augmented reality.

All users have to do is go to the Adidas site and hold up their sneaker, which has a code embedded in its tongue, in front of their computer webcam. A virtual world then pops out in front of them and they can navigate it using their sneaker as a controller.

Over the next few months, Adidas plans to introduce three augmented reality games developed by game developer xForm into the virtual neighborhood. The sneakers will then serve not only as the key to get in, but also act as the controller for the games. Among those available will be a skateboard game, where the sneaker acts as the controller to navigate the virtual city’s alleys, a Star Wars-like game with the sneaker and a music-based game.

The shoes with the augmented reality codes will cost between $65 and $95 and will be available starting February.

So, cool or uncool?
Sure, a large part of this is a marketing gimmick and Adidas is not the only company to try use augmented reality in its products. But that doesn’t take away from that this is an idea that makes an ordinary physical object fun and injects some technological coolness to it.

Cool I would say.

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