Over the weekend Adidas aimed to enhance their customer’s experience and instead of having them wait in long lines for their newest sneaker drop at ComplexCon, a streetwear convention, Adidas Originals sold convention goers new sneakers in augmented reality.

The convention spanned two days and offered new top sneaker models for people who attend. Adidas Originals’ wanted to try something new and utilized a staff-less augmented reality platform that offered no lines to be the “most fluid and democratic point-of-purchase to date.”

“The way in which we designed our shopping experience tackles consumer insights that go beyond just buying sneakers,” said  Chris Murphy, Senior Director of Digital Activation for Adidas North America.  “Making product available to everyone from their smartphone without queues and hassles reconciles the enthusiasm the real end users bring to the show.”

In order for customers to join the experience they had to install the ComplexCon app where they gained access to the Adidas Originals augmented reality store. From there, users received notifications giving them directions on where they can unlock the drop to get their shoes.

Throughout the weekend different products were released via five illuminated beacons placed around the venue. Users could point their devices over the beacons and followed instructions to view and access new products to secure a specific model in their size. Afterwards, shoppers collected their purchase over a self-service pickup via digital lockers, which could only be unlocked by the app, giving complete autonomy from start to finish.

“A transaction that would have taken over two hours in the past is now served within minutes of the AR release,” said Murphy. “At events like ComplexCon you have a very diverse mix of attendees that go from resellers, collectors to fashion enthusiasts and culture makers… and everyone gets a fair chance at the same release.”

Adidas offered a handful of products onsite including limited runs of Pusha T EQT Custion 2, PW HU P.O.

D System, N.E.R.D. HU NMD, and a special collaboration with Snoop Dogg which celebrated the 25th anniversary of his album Doggystyle were available for purchase. Shoppers could even buy the complete Dragon Ball Z collection plus a second chance at grabbing pairs of the already sold-out Dragon Ball Z Son Guko Restomod ZX500 and Frieza Yung-1.

Adidas isn’t the only sneaker company trying to up their game. Nike has been experimenting with augmented reality to help sell their highly coveted sneakers since 2017 and launched the SB Dunk High Pro “Momofufu” via its SNKRS App. Both Nike and Adidas are working towards combating bots and resellers  using augmented reality to sell their shoes.

ComplexCon is only a stepping stone for what Adidas has up its sleeve. According to Murphy this was only a taste of what we can expect from the company and what they have planned for the near future. It’s a powerful move by Adidas as it works to control the sale of its high end brand of tennis shoes.

“Before the end of the year,” Murphy added, “we aim to provide more access to our most desired product through the digital lens.”