Sports goods giant adidas has introduced what it claims to be the world's first 'intelligent' basketball shoe.

The shoe, which is called adidas_1 Basketball, provides intelligent cushioning, meaning it finds the right level of cushioning whatever the player's size or movement.

Adidas_Basketball works on the same principles as the adidas_1 Running shoe, with a magnetic sensor in the heel sensing the level of compression, which is then sent to the shoe's 'brain', a microprocessor that understands if the cushioning level is too soft or too firm.

A motor-driven cable system adapts the cushioning, to make the shoe softer or firmer as needed. The basketball model has been uploaded with new software along with changed physical characteristics to meet the needs of the sport.

Adidas_Basketball shoe recognises different kinds of compression associated with basketball, such as: even, regular compressions for running, quick, extreme compressions for jumping and landing, and longer, extreme compressions for cutting.

The shoe filters all the data and develops a player profile, allowing it to adjust more quickly when the wearer switches from running to cutting, or from jumping to running. Adjustments happen every eight steps.

The $250 shoe will be available in limited quantities in the US in May, with a global introduction planned for August 2006.