Personal Tracking: Adidas F50, Speed Cell & miCoach


From ASICS at the New York Marathon to adidas at the London Marathon, sponsorship activation via RFID Chip initiatives highlight the trend for interactive tracking have been. But even more interestingly, brands are now building sophisticated self-monitoring systems into its products.


A technology step change has occurred since the ground-breaking Nike + initiative was first launched. Indeed, adidas, argue some, is now leading the way with such technology platforms – spearheaded by its F50 football boot and miCoach online training programme.


By embedding its miCoach Speed Cell technology into the F50 it tracks the wearer’s data which can then be collated, analysed to enhance performance, shared and compared socially and even used to fuel a connected game.


The technology tracks a range of play-related data – from average and maximum speeds, to sprints, distance, steps and strides length – and then transmits it wirelessly to smartphones and/or computers to synch with miCoach where the wearer can analyse his or her performance, explore strengths and weaknesses and identify how to improve.


The miCoach Speed Cell chip embedded into the bottom of the boot, measures speed, average speed (recorded every second), maximum speed (recorded every five seconds), the number of sprints, distance, distance at high intensity levels, steps and step length.


The device can store up to seven hours of data, which can be wirelessly transmitted to a computer for analysis. Players can even use their own data to play the Virtual miCoach football game against others also using the tracking system.


This kind of connected product is filtering in to the mass market, providing all consumers with the kind of personalised performance data once only available to professionals.


If the primary aim of a sports shoe is to genuinely improve performance then this kind of trend looks set to explode. Of course, if the secondary aim of a football boot is to have fun with others, then the social gaming links add to that consumer desire too.




These technology developments are surely just the tip of the iceberg.


Of course, where the heavyweight sportswear manufacturers lead the way, so often there are substantial follow-on sponsorship opportunities for brands and rights owners that follow slightly behind.


But whether amateur adidas boot wearers will actually want to compare their own performances with those of adidas’ professional brand ambassadors remains to be seen.


Do we need the miCoach Speed Cell to tell us how much worse we are in comparison to Messi?







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