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Business

Adidas Prepares to Launch Bionic Running Shoe

German sports giant Adidas-Salamon has created "smart" running shoes, capable of sensing the environment around them, calculating how best to run in it and then instantly altering their physical properties to adapt to its surroundings. The designers say that the shoes can do whatever is needed to deliver improved athletic performance or just get a better experience out of the "ancient poetry of feet striking the earth." The shoe named simply "1" is sleek and lightweight despite its battery-powered sensor, microprocessor and electric motor. Each second, a sensor in the heel can take up to 20,000 readings and the embedded electronic brain can make 10,000 calculations, directing a tiny electric motor to change the shoe. The shoe will adjust to changing conditions and the runner's particular style while in use. "What we have, basically, is the first footwear product that can change its characteristics in real time," said Christian DiBenedetto, the scientist who led the group that created the shoe, in an interview with the New York Times.