I'm a big fan of augmented reality. I think it's got the potential to completely change how we receive information in the real world by using technology. But at the moment it seems to be little more than a marketing gimmick. The proof? Adidas are shipping shoes with a printed code on the shoe tongue that allows you to play a "game" when you stick it up infront of a webcam.
Here's the description from Adidas:
Need more proof that life is becoming more and more like Bladerunner or Total Recall? Read on, non-believer. adidas Originals take innovation to the next level by delivering the first ever footwear range to feature Augmented Reality technology.
A revolutionary series of five iconic adidas Originals sneakers - the Superstar, Stan Smith, Forum, Nizza and Samba - have been designed to include an Augmented Reality code on the shoe tongue. Owners of the shoes will be able to hold them in front of their computer web camera where the special code is recognized by the AR technology, making a 3D adidas Originals “Neighbourhood” come to life where celebrity friends of the Trefoil brand will appear to greet the visitors.
The sneakers are not only the keys to open up the Neighbourhood, they are also the controllers which fans can use to play a series of interactive games. Releasing three games, the first is inspired by the adidas Originals Star Wars™ collection released in January. The second will have a skateboarding theme, inline with adidas Originals’ rich skate history, while the final game introduces the dimension of sound. adidas Originals fans for the first time will be able to manipulate musical elements like a DJ with their shoe.
Now, I don't know about you, but I've never wanted to stick my shoe in front of a webcam to play a game. Especially not if it's a shoe I've actually worn...