High-Tech Adidas Soccer Shoe and App Track Your Performance
Your days of phony hustling on the soccer pitch — appearing to exert maximum effort while actually conserving energy — are over, thanks to a new shoe and app recently introduced by Adidas.
Released this month, the free miCoach Soccer app for iPhone and iPod touch collects and visualizes data wirelessly transmitted from a chip planted into a cavity of the adizero F50 soccer cleat. The shoe and chip came out in Europe, Asia and Latin America in November before debuting in the U.S. this month.
The data transmitted from the chip allows players to track and measure their distance covered, top speed, number of sprints, and other statistics during games or practice. Players can then monitor their progress over time, compare their performance to that of friends and measure themselves against some of the world’s biggest stars while sharing the entire experience via Twitter and Facebook. Brazil and FC Barcelona defender Dani Alves also shares professional training tips via the app.
The new shoe was first worn by Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi during a friendly match against Nigeria in September and, according to Bloomberg News, took more than two years to develop.
But it’s not first piece of high tech athletic apparel to cause a stir — in fact, others have even been banned in recent years on performance-enhancing grounds. Last year, the NBA banned a $ 300 shoe touted to add nearly four inches to a player’s vertical leap. In 2010, swimming’s world governing body banned polyurethane and neoprene suits after competitors broke scores of records wearing the gear.
While the new Adidas cleat and chip don’t directly enhance performance, they do provide advanced analytics that the company says will be a boon for any player looking to get better.
“Understanding individual performance data is one of the best ways to improve your game,” renowned trainer Mark Verstegen said in an Adidas release. “For the first time, amateur athletes can have access to the performance tracking and analysis technology available to professional athletes.”
The tracking chip technology has been available in Adidas running shoes since 2009, but with the release of the soccer cleat and app, made its first transition into other sports. Adidas says basketball, football and tennis versions are scheduled for 2012.