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.
“The foundation of augmented reality lies in adding a layer to the real world,” says Chris Barbour, head of digital marketing for Adidas Originals. “That’s what we have done. We have taken a real world item and added a fantastic virtual world on top of that”
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.
“We are not trying to mimic a real-world look, we have a more stylized, pop-up book creative approach,” says Barbour. “The neighborhood is displayed on a two dimensional computer screen, but you can use your shoe to control the angle and depth of view and zoom in and out, giving a 3-D sense of perspective.”
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.
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