For Nike, Augmented Reality Is The Perfect Way To Sell Hyped Sneakers

by MR Magazine Staff

Buying limited-edition shoes is complicated and not as fun as it should be. The rise of violence in sneaker culture (people have been murdered for a pair of Air Jordans) led companies like Nike to launch hyped products almost exclusively on digital channels. But selling sneakers on a website, or doing raffles on Twitter, came with challenges of its own. That’s because resellers started using bots, automated computer scripts, to buy or reserve pairs faster than a human could. If you couldn’t enter an address and credit-card number in a matter of seconds, whatever you were hoping to get was going to be sold out. But Nike may have a secret weapon against auto-buying tools: augmented reality. The company began experimenting with the technology in June during the release of the SB Dunk High Pro “Momofuku,” a model designed in collaboration with famous chef David Chang. Nike made pairs available through its SNKRS app for iOS (sorry, Android folks), and the only way sneakerheads could buy them was using a new AR feature. To unlock these in the application, you had to go to the product page, tap on a 3D model of the sneaker and then point your smartphone’s camera at a menu of Chang’s Fuku restaurant in New York City. The tech wasn’t limited to a physical menu, so you could also gain access by pointing your device at a web version of it or special SNKRS posters that Nike put up across NYC. AR is all about mixing digital objects with the real world, and this was a great way to show how that would sell product. Read more at Engadget.