Adidas has unveiled the most advanced shoe ever. Called "1", the shoe provides “intelligent cushioning” by automatically and continuously adjusting itself. It does so by sensing the cushioning level, using a sensor and a magnet. It then understands whether the cushioning level is too soft or too firm via a small computer and adapts with a motor-driven cable system to provide the correct cushioning throughout the run.
A prime example of the convergence process in which computers are embedded in everyday objects to enable them to play their role more effectively, the adidas shoe is one of a number of intelligent clothing items due for market in 2004 – others include the Solar Powered jacket from SCOTTeVEST, O’Neill’s MP3 snowboarding jacket, and Philips work developing clothing which monitors the health of its wearer.
Adidas can genuinely claim a landmark first with "1" – it will be the first of many innovations in footwear thanks to embedded processors.
"This product will change the entire sporting goods industry. It is a true first and establishes adidas as a clear leader in the field of innovation," said Erich Stamminger, Executive Board Member responsible for Global Marketing and North America. "This is the product that illustrates to us, also when developing products, 'Impossible is Nothing'."
Three years in highly confidential in-house development, the shoe was a secret project, known by only a few people even within adidas-Salomon. It was completely developed by the adidas Innovation team in Portland and Herzogenaurach. An exclusive distribution of shoes will be in select retailers and adidas Sport Performance stores in December 2004. It will retail at around US$250 or 250 Euros.