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Adidas introduces computerized "Smart Shoe"

May 7, 2004

PORTLAND, Ore. - Adidas announced that it has created the world's first "smart shoe" by adding a computer chip to the shoe that will adapt its cushioning level to a runner's size and stride.

Called the Adidas 1, the new "smart shoe" is the product of a three-year secret project the German owned company developed at its U.S. headquarters in Portland, Ore.

Adidas opened its research lab to reporters from around the world for a first peek at a shoe the company claims will revolutionize distance running and training.

This is the first intelligent shoe ever," said Erich Stamminger, global marketing director for Adidas. "It senses, understands and adapts."

The shoe is equipped with a microprocessor capable of making five million calculations per second to adjust heel cushioning. It can turn firm for off-road, trail running and then soften up when it hits the pavement.

The microprocessor is located in the arch of the shoe, and drives a tiny screw and cable system that adjusts the heel cushion depending on the signals sent back by an electric sensor coupled to a magnet.

It is powered by a battery that conserves power by adjusting the shoe while it is in the air during a runner's stride, avoiding resistance from the ground.

The entire assembly weighs no more than 40 grams just 10 percent of the 400-gram total weight of the shoe, to keep it light enough for distance runners. Adidas is confident the computerized shoe will endure the wear-and-tear of running in almost any condition .

The "smart shoe" will be available to consumers beginning in December.

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