Nike’s Shoe App Has the Magic ‘Touch’
A cutting-edge shoe demands a cutting-edge launch strategy, and that’s exactly what the Nike Air Jordan XX9 basketball sneaker got when it was released to the world at the World Basketball Festival. The killer app: a touch-screen-based interactive experience that drew large crowds, all anxious to explore the components of the shoe in a full 360-degree virtual format.
Shoe aficionados and athletes alike are serious about their Jordans, so the brand and its partners designed the app so that users could simply tap various parts of the shoe on the screen and “explode” it to reveal its core components. The experience was consumer-driven and progressive, so as they tapped on the screen, they revealed more levels of detailed information. After exploring the digital version of the shoe, consumers were then able to try on an actual pair of the new Jordans.
How did the technology all come together? On the software side, the team used a 3D model of the shoe created and textured in Cinema4D, then imported it into Unity3D, a game engine used for real-time 3D graphics and effects. The team wrote code for various actions that the user could take, and incorporated additional graphics, video and text for the user interface. The finished app was exported as a standalone executable file that was run on a high-end Asus gaming computer, a machine the team selected because it incorporated a high-end graphic card that could accommodate the extremely detailed and realistic textures of the shoe. The laptop was then connected to a 70-inch ELO Touch Screen display, which ran the application throughout the event.