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AR Gimmicks > Adidas AR World

The AR gimmicks series, is a collection of short articles, each taking a look at one gimmicky augmented reality release. None of them have world-changing applications, yet as their numbers continue to radically increase, they serve an invaluable collective function. Each raises awareness in the mainstream, of AR, just aa little higher. Each encourages the use of technologies to make AR easier, cheaper and faster. The knock-on effect of course being that since VR shares many of the same technologies, VR equipment becomes more readily available and cheaper to produce.



In the closing days of 2009, Adidas announced a new marketing gimmick for their shoes, using augmented reality and a virtual world. The idea is sleek and simple, attempting to meld the best of both worlds. It also demands that many pairs of shoes are purchased, padding Adidas' bottom line.

Essentially, there is a new range of men's shoes due to be launched in 2010, comprising five pairs in all. These have a magic symbol tag on the tongue of each of the shoes; printed into the fabric. Holding the shoe up to a webccam, tied to a computer runningb the appropriate software, generates a 3D virtual world on-screen, superimposed over the webcam image. Standard pure-visual AR in other words.

The VR is extrememy simple; limited to a single crazy 3D street. Navigation is VRML style, using the shoe as a control device. Tipping it in different directions moves the viewpoint around.

Over the next few months, Adidas plans to introduce three augmented reality games developed by game developer xForm into the AR street. Thus, the shoes will serve as single-purpose games controllers. If you desire to unlocck addirional street content, or play a different game, you need to buy another pair of Adidas shoes. Alternatively, as soon as the shoes are launched, the codes become public knowledge and someone somewhere will make them available to download and print off.

References

Adidas Turns the Sneaker Into an Augmented Reality Device

Adidas augmented reality sneakers

V Style: Adidas Presents Augmented Reality

Further Reading

Resource List: AR Gimmicks

Staff Comments

 


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