Introducing the first shoe that thinks for itself adidas has answered the question that always plagued the industry.How do you get cushioning right when no two runners are the same? The shoe's sensor is accurate to the width of the human hair.It has a processor which can perform 20,000 operations in the time it takes your brain to realize your hand is touching a hot stove. It has a motor which spins at a rate faster than the rotors of a Blackhawk helicopter. According to Adidas-Salomon AG, the Adidas 1 running shoe will continually adjust the firmness of its heel to make sure it always feels right: softer on concrete, firmer on grass, for example. The preferred firmness of a cushion in the heel is selected when you push either of two buttons on the side of the shoe, one carrying a plus sign and other a minus. These in turn activate a motor that tightens or relaxes a steel cord to give the heel its variable firmness. Five light-emitting diodes on each shoe indicate the firmness levels. The hollow plastic cushion in the heel contains a Hall Effect sensor which reads the strength of an electromagnetic field created by a magnet near the bottom of the heel. As the runner’s foot strikes the ground and the plastic cushion is compressed, the sensor measures the change in field strength. It sends this data to an embedded 20-MHz micro-processor in the shoe’s arch, which calculates to within 100 micrometers just how much the cushion has been compressed and adjusts the cord tension to maintain a constant level of firmness no matter what you’re running on. This cycle of sensing, measuring and adjusting happens 1000 times a second. You won’t notice the cord’s tension changing until you start moving because the motor is activated only when the foot is in air. This ensures that it is not wasting energy by fighting against the runner’s weight. The Adidas 1 is expected to hit stores in December. But what if the shoe catches a virus or if the chip/OS malfunctions? Do we have to take it to a computer tech or a dealer?