Bridging the physical and digital worlds has always been a dream for many tech companies, especially when it can create new experiences that, in turn, generate sales or customer engagement. That dream is even bigger for games that want to extend their reach beyond computers and phones. adidas, Google, and EA Sports may have just made that dream come true in an odd yet ingenious way that involves putting a small tracker inside your adidas shoes.
One key problem with bridging the physical and digital especially in games is figuring out how to map real-world actions to in-game ones. Often, the immediate answer involves AR or location data but that really doesn’t make sense when it comes to games or apps that simulate real-world physical activities like sports. Fortunately for adidas, Google has been working on something that can help it.
Soli’s twin and totally unrelated project, Jacquard by Google aimed to make wearable technology truly wearable. Its first public implementation, a trucker jacket from Levi’s, was odd, awkward, and impractical. Fortunately, this collaboration with adidas and EA Sports actually makes more sense, giving birth to the adidas GMR.
The GMR is really just a smart insole with a Jacquard Tag inside and can be placed in any adidas footwear. The basic goal is to measure movements and their strength, speed, distance, etc. These are then mapped to EA Sports’ FIFA mobile game to earn rewards that then improves the player’s Ultimate Team Overall scores.
In a nutshell, it’s like playing the mobile game even while you’re actually playing football or even just training in the real-world, a prospect that the three companies believe will appeal to football fans and players. At least enough to actually go out and buy one of these. The adidas GMR will sell for $35 though there is no specified date when it will go on sale.