Apple is remaining committed to bringing Black-led platforms to the main stage for the world to see. 

The tech giant recently pledged $30 million in new commitments to our communities including the masterminds behind Kickstroid, the app deemed “the smartest sneaker app ever.” Founders David Alston and Nicco Adams created the platform to serve as the ultimate tool for sneakerheads using machine learning to bring sneaker culture straight to users’ fingertips through its mobile iOS app.

It is designed to be used by everyone. Whether you’re the ultimate sneakerhead or someone who is taking their first dip into sneaker culture. The easy-to-use tool helps anyone using the Kickstroid app to stay up to date with the latest sneaker news and of course the latest sneaker drops.

As Apple continues to build on its original investment as a part of its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI), which supports students, innovators, and advocacy organizations that are leading the charge in creating a more inclusive, more just world, the company is committed to tools like Kickstroid that support entire communities.

“The call to build a more just and equitable world is an urgent one, and at Apple, we feel a collective responsibility to help drive progress forward,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO in an official press release shared with AfroTech. “The commitments we’re sharing will help the young leaders of today and tomorrow start new businesses, develop groundbreaking innovations, and inspire countless others to join the fight for justice. We’re grateful to all of the trailblazing organizations we’re partnering with for their tireless dedication to equity as we work toward a better future together.”

A Passion For Soles & The Culture

Alston and Adams are sneakerheads turned app creators using their passion for “soles” as a driving force behind the development of the app.

“We knew there was a strong gap on the technical side of the culture,” said the pair in an exclusive interview with AfroTech. “Not just in terms of there being a lack of an innovative platform for sneakerheads but also in terms of there being a lack of Black people on the forefront of tech and culture.” 

They understand the significance of sneaker culture to the Black culture and from their own grievances as collectors of various sneakers, wanted to build a platform dedicated to people like them and even people who have a desire to become immersed in the sneaker culture, but don’t necessarily know where to start.

“Sneaker culture has always been rooted in Black culture but a lot of the founders of sneaker tech services look nothing like us,” they continued. “We wanted to use our voice as sneakerheads and Black creatives to make a cutting-edge product that’s for the culture, by the culture. Thanks to Apple, we finally had the tools to build it.”

How Kickstroid Works

Each feature in the app is based on two concepts: Data and Detection. 

When it comes to data, features like Kickstroid’s AI-based price prediction algorithm and media coverage analytics serve as tools to help sneakerheads know where the culture is and more importantly, where it’s headed. 

“In terms of detection, we have features like sneaker battles. On the surface, the battles are a fun way for users to show off and vote on their favorite sneakers. On the backhand, it’s actually the most advanced feature on the app,” said Alston and Adams. “As each user votes on a picture, our AI-based sneaker detection algorithm scans each photo to identify the sneaker, break it down by its visual characteristics [for example, high top vs. low top], and then use that information to help create personalized metrics for that user.”

Another feature on the app includes a sneaker drop that uses coreML to estimate a resale price prediction model, giving a quantified breakdown of the place the sneaker has in the culture and the value that a person can obtain just by owning it.

Download 'The Smartest Sneaker App Ever'

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