Nike COO Eric Sprunk surprised the GeekWire Summit crowd last week when he said custom 3D printed sneakers were “not that far away.” They may be even closer than we realized, if today’s announcement from a rival sneaker company is any indication.
Adidas released a video for a concept service called Futurecraft 3D, which predicts an ambitious new method of customizing running shoes. In the company’s vision, customers first receive midsoles designed from a scan of their feet. Next they test the soles out on a treadmill to measure stride and striking points. Adidas then uses the data to design a sole that not only fits the customer’s foot, but fits his or her running style as well.
“Our 3D-printed midsole not only allows us to make a great running shoe, but also to use performance data to drive truly bespoke experiences, meeting the needs of any athlete,” said Adidas Global Brands Executive Eric Liedtke in a press release.
At the GeekWire Summit, Sprunk hinted that Nike may be keeping a pace with its competitor.
“Do I envision a future where we might still own the file from an IP perspective — you can’t just have anyone making a Nike product — and have it manufactured in your own home or we do it for you at our store?” Sprunk said. “Yeah, that’s not that far away.”
While neither of the footwear companies have released information about when these technologies will become available, Adidas did say more details would be released in the next six months.
Watch the Futurecraft 3D concept video here: