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Inside Adidas' Robot-Powered, On-Demand Sneaker Factory

• wired.com by Anna Wiener

The boutique was part of a corporate experiment called Storefactory—a name as flatly self-­explanatory as it is consistent with the convention of German compound nouns. It offered a single product: machine-­knit merino wool sweaters, made to order on the spot. Customers stepped up for body scans inside the showroom and then worked with an employee to design their own bespoke pullovers. The sweaters, which cost the equivalent of about $250 apiece, then materialized behind a glass wall in a matter of hours.

The miniature factory behind the glass, which consisted mainly of three industrial knitting machines spitting forth sweaters like dot-matrix printouts, could reportedly produce only 10 garments a day. But the point of the experiment wasn't to rack up sales numbers.

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