by Brendan Dunne
Adidas took another step toward automated shoe production today with the announcement of its SPEEDFACTORY.
The SPEEDFACTORY, first mentioned by adidas head of global brands Eric Liedtke in June, has robots building sneakers, lowering the turn-around time on new product and allowing adidas to react to trend shifts more quickly. The first pilot SPEEDFACTORY will be located in Ansbach, a small town near adidas' global HQ in Herzogenaurach, Germany.
For the first half of 2016, adidas plans to produce 500 pairs of running sneakers using the SPEEDFACTORY. It's unclear what those sneakers will be, but the pair in the press images here looks rather like an adidas Ultra Boost.
The brand plans to set up more SPEEDFACTORY locations in the future – Liedtke even hinted at one in Detroit that would bring adidas sneaker production to the U.S.
Adidas hopes that its SPEEDFACTORY project will offer a greater level of customization to consumers at a quicker pace.