The sci-fi fan and sneaker freak Chris Barbour has brought shoes to tech's bleeding edge. He has unveiled sneakers with an embedded augmented-reality code, turning the shoes into joysticks, enabling a range of sneaker-plus-smartphone activity. "Technology lets us add a complete layer of additional experience," says the Amsterdam-based Barbour, 35. Even nonshoppers play: Free "paper shoes" can be printed on adidas.com, creating what Barbour calls an "exponential halo effect" for Adidas as a proponent of new tech. He also created an app that lets sneakerheads photograph any Adidas Originals shoe and get instant info on its origins. The tech-savvy strategy's payoff—Adidas is the most-followed fashion brand on Facebook, with 3 million fans.