For many of us, playing alongside the best football players in the world has only been a dream; up until now. Thanks to a team-up between FIFA Mobile by EA Sports, Adidas and Google, you can now play football on the pitch or on the street and earn rewards online, powering your players in-game with real-world achievements. To do this, all you need is to insert the new Adidas GMR insole into your football boots (opens in new tab) and off you go. Oh, and FIFA Mobile on your phone, obviously.
Powered by a Google Jacquard Tag’s advanced machine-learning algorithms, Adidas GMR recognises the actual physical movements footballers make on-pitch – measuring kicks, shot power, distance and speed. Adidas says that by completing different short and long-term challenges, you will earn rewards and improve your Ultimate Team, 'powering your players in-game with real-world achievements'.
At the moment, this seems to mean 'kick a ball really hard 40 times, and get in-game currency and power ups', but at least in theory, this could one day be something way more sophisticated.
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Adidas' marketing implies that when you play a game of real-world football, your silky dribbles, astute runs and raking passes will directly translate into FIFA Mobile action – as in, your shot at the park on Sunday will cause the net to bulge in your next FIFA session. That would be awesome but on closer inspection it appears it's currently a bit more limited than that. Limited, in fact, to letting you unlock and power-up various in-game features, by doing very specific challenges, which change weekly. So that's still pretty cool.
Adidas GMR: price, release date, availability
Adidas GMR is available to purchase now online (opens in new tab) and in select Adidas stores with an RRP of £29.95 / €34.99 / $35.
Why should you buy the Adidas GMR insoles?
There are two main reasons to try the new Adidas GMR: it is a new technology and it is also inexpensive. It's always exciting to try cutting edge tech and it's rare that it doesn't cost the earth, which just happens to be the case with the Adidas GMR. The new innovative insoles merge physical football and digital gaming, giving you the power to play connected and improve your FIFA Mobile Ultimate Team overall rating (OVR) through real-world play using the Jacquard by Google Tag.
The Adidas GMR insole can be placed within any type of footwear – make sure you remove the insoles already in the shoes before you slide in the Adidas GMR, though. Once in place, the new insoles will enable you to complete challenges on the street or pitch to unlock in-game rewards, improve your Team's OVR and compete in leaderboards.
One of the first challenges is Master Finisher, which sees you tasked with taking 40 powerful shots in the penalty box within a week to earn coins and skill boosts in their FIFA Mobile game. Your hardest shot will even be ranked on a leaderboard, so you can laugh at your friends' puny efforts. Nice.
Adidas says the launch of GMR is to achieve dominance in the 'phygital' gaming space – and that's a word I never thought I would have to write.