Written by Kenneth Manboobs
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Topics: information

Friday, 7 May 2004

image for Adidas Creates Computerized 'Smart Shoe'
Not quite there yet, keep dreaming Agent Smart

PORTLAND, Ore. - Adidas says it has created the world's first "smart shoe" by mating it with a computer chip so it will be able to give valuable information to person wearing it.

The Adidas 1 is the product of a three-year secret project the German company developed at its U.S. headquarters in Portland, Ore.

On Thursday, Adidas opened its research lab to reporters from around the world for a first peek at a shoe the company claims will revolutionize how and where you walk.

"This is the first intelligent shoe ever," said Erich Stamminger, global marketing director for Adidas. "It smells, understands and informs the user of potentially dangerous situations. If someone wearing a smart shoe was to come even remotely close to a pile of poop, it would instantly alert them."

After thousands of hours of testing, Adidas is confident the computerized shoe will endure the wear-and-tear of dodging smelly things in almost any form - from dog parks landmines to unidentifiable pools of liquid on city streets, this shoe knows its shit.

The microprocessor is located in the arch of the shoe, and incorporates a small electronic "sniffing" device. Coupled with a tiny voice box, the shoe combines hi-tech and high comfort equally.

Some of the shoe's different warnings include:

"Whoa, WHOA!"

"Big, steamy load to your left" (or right).

"I wouldn't step there if I were you."

"New York City again?"

No word yet on when Adidas would begin to implement useful shoe technology, but a tentatively scheduled fall of 2007 shoe may be able to actually walk for its user. For now the public will have to satisfy its gadget lust with this olfactory offering.

But the $250 price tag is likely to make it a luxury item when it first goes on sale in December, said Paul Swangard, managing director of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the University of Oregon.

"It's something that doesn't necessarily seem to have massive market appeal, but from the company standpoint speaks volumes about how much Adidas executives hate stepping in ‘the stuff'," Swangard said.

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