While Adidas says it is "reinventing" the shoe drop with this ComplexCon experience, Nike has actually been experimenting with augmented reality to sell highly coveted sneakers since 2017, when it launched the SB Dunk High Pro "Momofuku" via its SNKRS app. Adidas itself has tested AR features, though that was simply for marketing purposes. Now that Adidas is actually using the tech to sell its shoes, it's yet another example of how sportswear brands are serious about the potential of augmented reality as a tool to combat bots.
"A transaction that would have taken over two hours in the past is now served within minutes of the AR release," Chris Murphy, Adidas North America's senior director of digital activation, told Engadget. "At events like ComplexCon you have a very diverse mix of attendees that go from resellers, collectors to fashion enthusiasts and culture makers... and everyone gets a fair chance at the same release."
He said Adidas has been looking heavily into augmented reality for the past couple of years, and that what we're going to see at ComplexCon is only a small taste of what the company has planned for the near future. "Before the end of the year," Murphy added, "we aim to provide more access to our most desired product through the digital lens." For now, Adidas will be hoping that its Unlock the Drop AR feature is at least going to keep people from fighting for pairs, considering how last year's ComplexCon turned out to be quite chaotic.