By Andrew Liszewski
Online shoe stores like Zappos are vastly superior to their brick-and-mortar counterparts when it comes to selection, but my shoe size varies from brand to brand and style to style, so actually trying a pair on is an important part of my decision process. So while I won’t deny that adidas’ new adiVERSE Virtual Footwear Wall is an impressive piece of technology, and is probably incredibly fun to play with, I can’t help but feel it would be out of place in a physical shoe store.
The adiVERSE is essentially a massive touch-screen interface that allows shoppers to peruse virtual versions of the shoes in adidas’ current lineup. And because they’re all rendered in 3D in real-time, they can be rotated, zoomed and thoroughly examined in the virtual space. And if you find a pair you really like, you can even order them via a tablet-based checkout or from the traditional cash desk where they’ll be delivered to your home. So basically it’s like a far more interactive experience than shopping for shoes from your browser, except that you have to leave the comfort of your living room couch to do it.