Adidas and Intel recently unveiled a massive touchscreen wall that allows shoe retailers to house a large inventory without taking up so much floorspace
. The adiVerse Virtual Footwear Wall, which was designed by U.K. group Start Creative, was recently unveiled at the 2011 National Retail Federation Convention. When a shopper approaches it, the wall determines whether the person is male or female, and makes initial footwear recommendations, according to FastCompany. From there, shoppers can browse 3-D images of products, as many as 8,000, rendered on the wall. Aside from general specs on each shoe, the adiVerse wall hosts a wealth of marketing tools to be enjoyed -- like behind-the-scenes looks at a shoe's design, videos of the shoe in action and user reviews from social networking sites. When the shopper has made a final decision, he or she can try on the shoe, check its pricing, options and size availability, and add it to a shopping cart. Then an employee wielding a tablet will come over to help confirm and finish the transaction.
The first store equipped with an adiVerse wall will open in the U.K. sometime next year. We aren't sure it's such a viable business move to install a giant touchscreen wall in your tiny shoe store, though. It's clearly a way for retailers to save space and compete with online shopping, but the wall can't come cheap, and, in our opinion, shoppers can get a similar experience at home on their laptops.