AR Sneakers Sound Cool, But The Execution Sucks

AR Sneakers Sound Cool, But The Execution Sucks
July 6, 2017

The AR hype is alive and kicking.


Japanese footwear giant Onitsuka Tiger has teamed up with fashion label Anrealage to produce what is quite possibly the first pair of augmented reality sneakers in the world. 


The Anrealage Monte Z looks like an ordinary pair of black and white sneakers, until you look at them through Anrealage's AR app.


You open the app, scan it over the shoes like you would if you were taking a picture — and the Anrealage logo virtually pops out, as music by Japanese band Sakanaction plays in the background.


The shoes also come with a seriously trippy trailer.

Sadly, the concept's execution was pretty underwhelming.


I certainly wasn't expecting an extravagant AR display of a 3D model, but they could have made a lot more of it than just a logo pop up. 

The AR function also only works on the left foot (did they give up halfway?) and required several tries and scans before the logo would properly pop up.


"[The] AR app becomes less reactive due to factors such as wrinkle, brightness, shadow, angle and distance," Anrealage x Onitsuka say in the shoe care manual, too. That makes sense, since the app needs to recognise a reliable pattern before it can trigger the function — but on footwear, that means the more you wear it, the less likely you'll see the animation again.


The Anrealage Monte Z app is also a whopping 300MB, for a one-function download. People with less space on their phones will likely get rid of it soon after the novelty wears off.


The sneakers themselves are pretty cool, and come in two designs.


In the meantime, Nike's upcoming SNKRS app also shows that more sneaker brands are eyeing AR. Nike's won't show a cool animation though; its aim is to use AR to help you buy limited-edition shoes. Here's hoping that execution takes off more smoothly. 

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