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Walking the walk: adiVERSE Virtual Footwear Wall brings ‘connected retail’ to life

The adiVERSE Virtual Footwear Wall was a ‘connected retail’ innovation developed by Intel and created by Start JudgeGill for client adidas.

AdiVERSE has been developed by Intel for adidas, and created with global agency Start JudgeGill. Designed for the adidas instore environment, adiVERSE is a rich and immersive customer experience that puts all of adidas’ shoes, literally, at its customer’s fingertips, ready to buy, even if they are not available to purchase in-store. It’s an exciting and engaging customer experience that combines the best of physical retail with the best of digital.

The life-size interactive wall uses the latest technology to provide access to a vast product portfolio – adidas launches some 4000 shoes each season – within the limitations of even the smallest store environment. It gives adidas the opportunity to effectively bring the flagship store range and the entire e-commerce range to every store in the world.

The project demonstrates adidas’, Intel’s and Start JudgeGill’s shared vision of a ‘connected retail’ world, a completely new way of thinking about retail that’s in tune with the digitally connected lifestyles of today’s consumers. It’s the idea that the future of retailing lies in bringing together the best of digital media, interactivity, and product presentation to offer extraordinary and complimentary retail experiences – of which adiVERSE is a perfect example.

The client’s objectives:

  • Improve brand image – drive deeper levels of brand and product engagement
  • Reach out to adidas consumers, especially ‘youth’, and meet the needs of the digitally connected lifestyles of today’s customers.
  • Increase revenue by providing access to a wider selection of products throughout its store network

The technology behind adiVERSE is aimed squarely at delivering an enhanced ‘cross channel’ shopping experience to engage and excite adidas consumers. Start JudgeGill worked closely with Intel on the project, leading the full scale and real time rendering product presentation digital design and development, utilising the latest Intel Core i7 processors and developing innovative approaches for virtual product interaction. The wall is based on a game engine platform, with product images that are lit and presented as in real life. It allows users to interact with the footwear to an unprecedented level of detail. We used high-level polygon 3D real time rendered images that can be rotated 360-degrees by customers using hand or finger control. This makes the interactive experience as close as possible to real-life shopping. It is audience and gender aware, using prime sense cameras to detect movement when customers approach, immediately grabbing their attention with a dynamic display of products that are relevant to the customer’s gender.

Customers can search for products by colour, price and sport. Each shoe is presented in its own sporting environment, complete with sport-related sound effects. Users can access the shoe’s performance data, find out how it’s made, research the technology behind it and watch promotional material. Once selected, a sales assistant is automatically alerted, and the shoe can be purchased then and there via a tablet and delivered to the customer’s home address – all without a trip back to the sales desk. adiVERSE also solves the perennial ‘out of stock’ problem that faces many retailers.

adiVERSE is fully connected to the online world of social media. The wall allows customers to fi nd out what other people are saying about the shoe they are interested in, via social networking and review websites. Built in anonymous video analytics provides metrics on shopper trends, demographics, and shopping patterns, enabling adidas to provide personalised experiences and relevant value-add services to shoppers.

adiVERSE footwear wall was unveiled at the National Retail Federation Annual Expo in New York, in January 2011, and is currently performing well in testing. Once adidas and Intel have further demonstrated the success of the adiVERSE system for footwear it will be rolled out to stores worldwide. Some of the world’s leading retailers – such as Macys, BestBuy and McDonald’s have said that adiVERSE is a first in that it successfully blurs the lines between physical retail and the internet.

The strategy won the award for the best Use of Technical Innovation, as well as picking up the prestigious Chairman’s Award, at this year’s DADI Awards.

The Chairman of the judging panel, Phil Jones, said:
"The Chairman’s award was a no-brainer for me, this idea was simply staggering. It has since won the innovation award at the World Retail Forum in Barcelona and is one of the best pieces of work I have seen in years. Using Intel technology, their product and the agencies creative know-how they absolutely NAILED IT!!"

Featured by The Drum