Adidas debuts ‘smart’ running shoe, computer adjusts cushioning in mid-stride

Every once and awhile a story catches out interest and it has little or nothing to do with Apple or the Mac or “other Apple products.” Consider this one of those times, even though the writer mentions Apple in her article.

“Calling all technology-geek runners with $300 to burn: Adidas thinks it has the shoe for you. Millions of dollars in investment and three years in the making, the Adidas 1 shoe was unveiled Thursday at Adidas-Salomon AG’s Portland campus. The shoe, which carries a tiny motor and computing power equal to that in the first Apple desktop computer, automatically senses changes in how hard the runner hits the ground and adjusts the cushioning in the heel as needed,” Helen Jung reports for The Oregonian.

“The shoe is a first for the industry, Adidas said. It also is the platform upon which Adidas hopes to produce further “smart” shoes that allow for greater individualization, said Al Van Noy, global head of the Adidas Innovation Team,” Jung reports. “Here’s how it works: A sensor in the heel receives information about how hard the foot is hitting it. The sensor sends the information to the microprocessor, which sends the data through various algorithms. The microprocessor then instructs a tiny motor in the shoe to increase or decrease the springiness of the cushioning. The sensor takes readings every fourth stride, with adjustments occurring in the split-second when the foot is not on the ground.”

Jung reports, “Adjusting cushioning for harder or softer surfaces not only makes a run more comfortable but also can help prevent injury, Van Noy said. The device, which weighs 40 grams, is powered by a watch battery that requires changing after about 100 hours. The shoe, targeted at so-called ‘early adopters’ of technology, will not be available for purchase until December, said Stephen Pierpoint, marketing manager for Adidas 1.”

Full article here.

42 Comments

  1. 40g sounds like a lot to add to a running shoe. I was under the impression that serious running shoes were quite light. Perhaps this could be used as a training shoe to minimize wear and tear while also providing an extra load. Switching back to regular running shoes for races would then make you feet feel very light.

  2. 40 grams is quite light. Using the buil-in Calculator, 40 grams is 0.0882 lb which is 1.4 oz. Compare this to iPod mini at 3.6 oz.

    Of course, the question is, that 40 grams is combined weight or per shoe.

  3. There are smart-alecky remarks to be made about making the shoes in the 3rd world countries or Windows viruses/worms invading one’s shoes, and yet I couldn’t. My wit is failing me 🙁

  4. Would you have to re-BOOT your shoes, if the calculator crashes? Sorry, I couldn’t resist. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

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