In the ever-evolving soccer cleat arms race, there is no greater weapon than technology.
When wielded properly, the insertion of applied science into a pair of high-quality boots can not only have a dramatic effect on the wearer but also on the appeal of the final product. With the launch of adidas’ new miCoach SPEED_CELL, the marriage of sports and technology takes a quantum leap down the aisle of the church of innovation.
The miCoach SPEED_CELL is the first device capable of capturing unique stats such as average speed, maximum speed, number of sprints, distance at high intensity levels, steps and stride during play in 360-degree movement. Other devices can capture information from straight-ahead running, but when it comes to lateral or backward motion, not so much.
The miCoach SPEED_CELL, which comes in the shape of wide, thumb-sized insert that fits inside a special cavity on the underside of a shoe, captures up to seven hours of data on the user’s movement and stores all of this information on board until it is wirelessly transmitted to their smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac.
“It’s phenomenal,” says Chivas USA striker Juan Pablo Ángel. “It’s a great technology and the beauty of it is that in the past this type of thing was only accessible to professional athletes at the highest level, but now it’s available for everyone.”
But the SPEED_CELL is not only about playing hard and analyzing the numbers afterward.
In conjunction with the launch of the miCoach SPEED_CELL, adidas will introduce a series of apps, including miCoach Soccer, which allows athletes to use their real-world performance stats such as top speed and number of sprints to power up their customized in-game avatar.
To put it plainly, there is a 3v3 soccer iPhone game and your character’s stats for speed, stamina and more are based on your actual speed and stamina stats. Add in a multiplayer mode where you can play against (read: trash-talk) other miCoach SPEED_CELL users and you have a seamless integration of virtual and physical sport.
Video games aren’t for couch potatoes anymore.
Couple all of this technology with a cutting edge boot such as the upcoming adidas F-50, the first soccer cleat available with the unique cavity in the outsole, and you have the makings of what is truly the world’s first smart cleat.