Sport-locker.net often have to scour the internet to find leaked images of new kits or football boots; brands historically just don’t like to promote what they’ve got in store for us in the future.
However, that could all be about to change…
Because adidas have today launched the ‘adidas lab’ – the first in a series of innovation events that will showcase adidas products of the past, present and future.
And we were lucky enough to get an invite!!! (We basically sprinted down Gareth Bale style (minus the dive) to Victoria House, London to see what they have lined up for us in 2014 and beyond).
Upon our arrival we were quickly ushered into a room with some other journos to have a sit down chat with Michael Ballack!
If that wasn’t a good enough start to the day, WE THEN GOT TO MEET ZIZOU!
The legend that is Zinedine Zidane did a quick Q&A and answered questions about the Champions League final as well as his career as an adidas football boot wearer.
His standout quote was: “I have been working with adidas for 17 years and throughout my career I have always known they have been leading the way when it comes to innovation in football. The adidas lab shows how the brand is shaping the future of football and is a great chance for fans to see it with their own eyes.”
We were then left to our own devices to explore the amazingly high tech lab. This is when the fun really began!
The ‘adidas lab’ focussed on four leading innovations: the miCoach Elite Team System and the adidas Smart Ball, as well as the 630g kit and 99g boot.
But our first stop was ‘The Track’. This is a ground-breaking real time data visualisation experience that tests footballing attributes on a 15m Astroturf track by measuring speed, work rate and skill across three running challenges.
As we took part our movement and vital stats dramatically come to life on the screens as we ran past. It then uses this data to see what adidas boot silo best suits your style of play!
And despite falling over (what a melt!) we still managed to come second on the leaderboard and beat Michael Ballack’s score!
(Mr Ballack walked through the course)
It was then time to take a look at all four of the innovations on display so we could get a glimpse into the future of football:
Yes you read that right. A 99g FOOTBALL BOOT! Pick up your phone. Yes, it’s lighter than that…
adidas created the game-changing adizero f50 and now they have taken it to the next level with a new lightweight boot that weighs a mere 99g.
The revolutionary boot, rigorously tested, has been created in adidas’ speed range, adizero. Players wearing the new boot will be lighter and faster than ever giving them that physical and psychological advantage of speed.
First of all you notice the product displayed mid-air in a capsule to convey the unique lightness of the boot.
We then picked up and examined a yellow prototype – words cannot describe just how light it feels in hand. Although we do worry about the protection of the foot as the upper is paper thin!
A limited number will be made available to the public in 2015. It will be the lightest boot ever created.
Also released in 2015, will be a full adidas team kit weighing just 630g, including shirt, shorts, socks, shin pads and boots!
The minimalistic vest-shaped top layer will only carry name and numbering. Beneath this players will wear a base layer that is fully integrated into the miCoach Elite team system. The shorts are made from a four way stretch breathable lightweight woven fabric, while the shin pads are integrated into the lightweight compression sock.
miCoach Elite Team System
We were impressed when we first reviewed the adidas miCoach – but the new Elite Team System is simply breath-taking!
This new adidas product is the first system of its kind that uses physiological data in real time sending it straight to a coach’s tablet on the side-line.
The system not only provides real-time insights during training, but tracks total training impact, collects and manages data and is highly portable.
The state of the art system measures everything from power, speed and distance to heart rate, acceleration and field position, allowing key insights into player performance and work rate, helping teams achieve and maintain peak physical performance.
adidas Smart Ball
It was then time to test out a ball with sensors in it!
The adidas Smart Ball has been designed to improve technique, power, spin and accuracy through automated coaching system. After three years of development, adidas has created a ball with in-built sensors that track its movement and feed the information back to the player through an app on their phone.
The app is built around four key sections that help improve players’ technique through immediate analysis, direct feedback, a series of challenges and a record book.
Smart Ball is set for release in 2014, but we tested it out with three shots (our most powerful effort registered at 59mph) against a giant interactive Wall that projected our impact and results immediately – the speed of this data transfer was insane.
We couldn’t help but notice these classics too – wonderful scenes!
It was also the first time we have been up close and personal with the new Nitrocharge 1.o football boots – and we were more than impressed. Hopefully we’ll have a review for you soon!
And it was good to get to grips with the Adidas Virtual Footwear Wall again!
All in all, it was an absolute belter of a day and a real eye opener. Adidas have yet again set the pace in terms of revolutionising football, allowing punters to grab a hands on experience with future products, some nearly two years before their release. Bravo!
For more information visit www.adidas.com/football or join the conversation @adidasfootball #allforthis