“Augmented Reality” Sneakers by Adidas Unlock 3-D Virtual World

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For the shoemakers at Adidas, plain ol’ reality is a snooze-inducing yawnfest. Its Augmented Reality Shoe Game Pack, a collection of five “experiential” men’s sneakers due in select Champs Sports and Eastbay stores this month, is designed to kick things up a notch by placing a three-dimensional virtual world at your finger…uh…toe tips.


By holding the shoe (with its code-embedded tongue) up to any webcam, you’re able to launch an online version of the Adidas Originals Neighborhood that served as the backdrop of the company’s 2010 “Celebrate Originality” ad campaign.

There, your sneaker functions as a game controller, allowing you to unlock “challenging games and exclusive content,” according to Adidas, as well as negotiate the angle and depth of view of your ‘hood away from ‘hood.

By holding the shoe up to any webcam, you can launch and navigate a virtual 3-D neighborhood.

The augmented reality experience is hardly The Matrix—how’s that for a dated reference?—and it’s a gimicky move at best, but as far as multifunctional wearables go, Adidas scores points for thinking outside the sneaker. Up next: Holodeck high-tops?

+ Augmented Reality Game Pack

+ Adidas

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