ASICS pursues intelligent tech dreams with smart shoe prototype

ASICS unveiled a prototype of its smart shoe range during last week's 2020 CES. According to multiple media reports including The Star and AFP, the shoes were created in collaboration with No New Folk Studio, a Japanese start-up, and are fitted out with intelligent technologies that are meant to analyse runners' performance.

According to media reports, the data collection is aided by No New Folk Studio's Orphe Track sensor embedded in the shoe, which shows users real-time metrics about their run through a complementary mobile app. The metrics are based on a variety of physical signals such as kick strength and stability. ASICS added that it intends to launch the smart shoes "sometime this year", media reports added. Marketing has reached out to ASICS for comment.

The idea of a smart shoe is not entirely new, as Nike launched the Nike+ activity tracker device in 2006 in partnership with Apple, which can be embedded or attached to a Nike shoe. In 2010, Nike and Apple rolled out the Nike+ GPS App which allows runners to use their iPhone to visually map every run while tracking pace, distance, time and calories burnt.

Separately, ASICS celebrated the launch of its eCommerce site in Singapore last year with outdoor activiations in the form of vending machines around the island which dispensed e-vouchers. Singapore was the first in Southeast Asia to launch ASICS.com. Meanwhile, it also picked K-pop group KARD its brand ambassador in Southeast Asia last August, and commenced a promotional effort for its GEL-BND sneaker collection.