Adidas’ New Computerized Shoe

         Adidas has definitely given new meaning to the phrase: living in the computer age when it developed the first computerized shoe called 1. It’s the only shoe in the world that provides cushioning by automatically adjusting itself, according to spokesperson Anna Quarrell.

        The shoe has a built-in computer sensor and magnet that signals when the cushioning level is too soft or firm. The sneaker’s sensor sits just below the runner’s heel and the magnet is placed on the bottom of the midsole. On each impact, the sensor measures the distance from top to bottom of the midsole gauging the compression. About 1,000 readings per second are taken and relayed to the shoe’s brain, which is underneath the arch.

        Once the correct cushioning level is determined, a command is sent to the shoe’s muscle to make the change. The shoe’s muscle is equipped with a motor-driven cable system. The motor receives the brain’s instructions and adapts by turning a screw, which lengthens or shortens a cable to compress cushioning.

        Small lithium batteries lasting 100 hours of running provides the motor’s power. The cushioning changes are gradual and automatic; therefore, the runner won’t feel these changes occurring. The runner will only feel that the shoe fits perfectly, according to Adidas.

        The shoe took three years to develop and it was a secret project, known only by a limited number of people even within the company. Only an exclusive distribution of the shoes will be in select stores including Adidas Sport Performance stores starting March 18, 2005.

        The cost is $250. 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, Adidas Executive Board Member in a statement. He went onto say that the new shoe illustrates to us that when developing products impossible is nothing.