May 19, 2020

Reebok’s Liquid Factory is set to revolutionise shoe manufacturing

Liquid Factory Reebok
Reebok Liquid Speed
Reebok President Matt O’Toole
Catherine Rowell
2 min
Reebok’s Liquid Factory is set to revolutionise shoe manufacturing

Developed by the Reebok Future Team, Reebok Future are set to transform the footwear manufacturing industry with their new 3d printing process for footwear, eradicating the use of moulds which increase the expense of new sneakers.

Their new sophisticated manufacturing software and robotics within their Liquid Factory process effectively ‘draws’ shoes in 3D with a high rebound liquid material, where the outsole of the shoe is then built in layers to not only provide a suitable foundation, but ensures this can then be filled with a high-energy material, providing twice the energy return of traditional rubber outsoles, in comparison with the use of conventional moulds.

Bill MicInnis, Head of Future at Reebok said, “With Liquid Factory, we wanted to fundamentally change the way that shoes are made, creating a new method to manufacture shoes without moulds. This opens up brand new possibilities both for what we can create, and the speed with which we can create it.”

Since its conception, Reebok have created the Reebok Liquid Speed. The system allows the athletic shoe to be tailored to fit the wearer perfectly, where liquid ‘wings’ are added to either side of the outsole by the machine, which then expsand and stretch to the sides of the shoe, moulding around the individual foot as the wearer laces up, providing a unique, three-dimensional fit.

The liquid speed allows heightened sensory feedback, allowing the user to feel the ground in three dimensions. However, the process will also reduce the time for shoes to be manufactured or redesigned or configured, with the eradication of moulds, allowing for greater freedom in the creation of new products .

Reebok President Matt O’Toole said, “The Reebok Future team was created to innovate not only the products we make, but also the process by which we make them.  We’re looking at how we can bring speed, customization and enhanced product performance to the process of creating footwear - and Liquid Factory is a very exciting development in this area.”

The process has been such a success, a new Liquid Factory manufacturing centre will be launching at the beginning of 2017.

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Jun 21, 2021

How AWS helps NASCAR delight its fans

3 min
Customer obsession and working backwards from the customer is a mantra of Amazon Web Services (AWS), epitomizing its partnership with NASCAR

AWS needs no introduction to readers of Technology Magazine but we rarely get an opportunity to look closely at how it serves the sports sector. All major sports draw in a huge supporter base that they want to nurture and support. Technology is the key to every major sports organization and enabling this is the driving force for AWS, says Matt Hurst, Head of Global Sports Marketing and Communications for AWS. “In sports, as in every industry, machine learning and artificial intelligence and high performance computing are helping to usher in the next wave of technical sports innovation.”

AWS approaches sports in three principal areas. “The first is unlocking data’s potential: leagues and teams hold vast amounts of data and AWS is enabling them to analyze that data at scale and make better, more informed decisions. The second is engaging and delighting fans: with AWS fans are getting deeper insights through visually compelling on-screen graphics and interactive Second Screen experiences. And the third is rapidly improving sports performance: leagues and teams are using AWS to innovate like never before.”

Among the many global brands that partner with AWS are Germany's Bundesliga, the NFL, F1, the NHL, the PGA Tour and of course NASCAR. NASCAR has worked with AWS on its digital transformation (migrating it's 18 petabyte video archive containing 70 years of historical footage to AWS), to optimize its cloud data center operations and to enable its global brand expansion. AWS Media Services powers the NASCAR Drive mobile app, delivering broadcast-quality content for more than 80 million fans worldwide. The platform, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaStore, helps NASCAR provide fans instant access to the driver’s view of the race track during races, augmented by audio and a continually updated leaderboard. “And NASCAR will use our flagship machine learning service Amazon SageMaker to train deep learning models to enhance metadata and video analytics.”

Using AWS artificial intelligence and machine learning, NASCAR aims to deliver even more fan experiences that they'd never have anticipated. “Just imagine a race between Dale Earnhardt Sr and Dale Jr at Talladega! There's a bright future, and we're looking forward to working with NASCAR, helping them tap into AWS technology to continue to digitally transform, innovate and create even more fan experiences.”

Just as AWS is helping NASCAR bridge that historical gap between the legacy architecture and new technology, more customers are using AWS for machine learning than any other provider. As an example, who would have thought five years ago that NFL would be using  ML to predict and prevent injury to its players? Since 2017, the league has utilized AWS as its official cloud and ML provider for the NFL Next Gen Stats (NGS) platform, which provides real-time location data, speed, and acceleration for every player during every play on every inch of the field. “One of the most potentially revolutionary components of the NFL-AWS partnership,” says Matt Hurst, “is the development of the 'Digital Athlete,' a computer simulation model that can be used to replicate infinite scenarios within the game environment—including variations by position and environmental factors, emphasizing the league's commitment to player safety.”

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