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Reebok Lets You Turn Instagram Pics Into an AI-Customized Digital Sneaker

Reebok Impact, the first collab from Reebok x Futureverse, lets Instagram users DM a photo to get an AI-personalized digital sneaker.

Reebok Lets You Turn Instagram Pics Into an AI-Customized Digital Sneaker

Reebok Impact, a collaboration between the sneaker brand and Futureverse, lets people create AI-generated digital kicks by DMing a photo via Instagram chat.

AI makes it so easy to generate new artwork, people can skip the drudgery of editing images and just jump right in — which is precisely what Reebok is playing into with Reebok Impact, a new digital sneaker personalization feature available through Instagram chat.

Announced Thursday, the feature doesn’t even require text prompts or descriptions, as generative artificial intelligence tools usually do. People simply direct-message a photo to @reebokimpact, and the AI from tech partner Futureverse steps in to customize a virtual shoe based on the picture, swathing the upper with its colors and embedding the original image in the sole. Users can pick styles from Reebok Pump, Classic or Club C models.

Functionally the result is equivalent to AI-generated digital artwork. According to the announcement, Reebok Impact is about giving the public a way to “immortalize” photo memories.

For Reebok, it “marks an important milestone in our commitment to innovation and technology,” said Todd Krinsky, Reebok’s chief executive officer, in a press statement. “We are excited to partner with Futureverse to explore new and engaging ways to bring our brand’s ethos to a wider audience.”

Reebok Lets You Turn Instagram Pics Into an AI-Customized Digital Sneaker

The ice blues and cool vibes in the feature photo were conjured from a ski lift pic, which shows up in virtual shoe’s sole.

The AI and metaverse firm brings expertise in digital collectibles and a track record working with major brands, from Mastercard and Warners Brothers to Authentic Brands Group, among others. This latest project is a fitting addition to this lineup, according to Futureverse cofounder Shara Senderoff.

“Reebok Impact exemplifies the convergence of technology and fashion by fusing innovation with artistry,” said Senderoff. “By harnessing the power of AI in a simple, yet dynamic customization experience, we’re providing an immersive journey of personal expression.”

People can generate as many digital shoes as they like, four of them for free and a $7.99 fee for each creation beyond that, and share them. Given Futureverse’s DNA, it’s no surprise that these generated works are metaverse-ready as well.

Users have the option to purchase “game-ready” files that work with Fortnite’s Unreal Editor and Roblox, with future interoperability promised for other environments — such the new metaverse game Open by Readyverse Studios, another enterprise cocreated by Senderoff, Aaron McDonald and Ernest Cline, creator of the Ready Player One franchise.

Reebok Lets You Turn Instagram Pics Into an AI-Customized Digital Sneaker

A fall photo translated as a digital Reebok.

By bridging AI and metaverse technologies, projects like Reebok Impact manage to benefit both. The feature offers an incredibly easy way for the AI-curious to try out the tech for themselves, and inside a social media app they’re already familiar with, while showing how AI can work for Web3 and immersive virtual worlds — even during the post-hype phase of the metaverse.

In that way, Reebok Impact appears to be where multiple tech roads intersect.

That may have always been the plan. Reebok Impact is the first product of a partnership announced last year, when Reebok and Futureverse’s stated goal was to create innovative AI, Web3, blockchain-based gaming and metaverse experiences for consumers, as well as broaden engagement with product across Reebok’s ecosystem.

The implication is that all of those tech roads will lead back to actual product, suggesting that the generated digital shoes could be a blueprint or design scheme for something tangible. Or at least virtually wearable.

The companies didn’t go so far as to state that outright. But they came close: “As the popularity of avatar wearables continues to grow, Reebok and Futureverse have created an innovative road map to further bridge the virtual and physical worlds,” the announcement read. “In addition to designing a commemorative digital sneaker, users can discover an incentive for a sneaker purchase IRL within Reebok Impact.”