Only Humans Allowed: Sneaker Raffle Will Use Heart-Rate Technology to Eliminate Bot Participation

A new raffle event is hoping to remove one of the biggest plagues of the sneaker market: sneaker bot activity. On Thursday July 2, Klarna and Highsnobiety will partner on a sneaker drop that utilizes heart-rate technology, to ensure that all contest participants are true footwear fans and not a bot being used for resale scams.

The “Heartbeats 4 sneakers” event will take place digitally through a dedicated website, allowing for international engagement. A launch party for the contest will also run virtually on July 2, from 6 p.m.–12 a.m. BST (1 p.m.–7 p.m. ET). It will include sets by six DJs and bespoke content creations by sneaker influencers such as Carlotta Constant (@carlottaconstant) and Joshua Meeks-Rayvon Williams (@meeks.rayvon).

The raffle itself will open on July 2 and close on July 6, giving entrants the opportunity to win one of a curated list of iconic sneakers from the past five years. The full selection of prizes consists of the Adidas Originals Yeezy Boost 750 OG (2015); Acronym x Nike Presto Mid (2016); Virgil Abloh x Nike Air Jordan 1 Chicago (2017); Sean Wotherspoon x Nike Air Max 97/1 (2017); and Daniel Arsham x Adidas Futurecraft 4D (2018).

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“These five sneakers have been chosen based on the impact they had when they dropped and their lasting influence on sneaker culture since then,” said Fabian Gorsler, sportswear editor at Highsnobiety. “This raffle gives sneakerheads the chance to get their hands on some of the most celebrated and sought-after collaborations of the past few years, without the added, unfair competition of bots.”

Bots have been a consistent problem in the sneaker market, due to the high demand for limited-edition goods and the potential for substantial resale profits. By entering numerous bots in a single competition or using bots to complete multiple fast purchases when a new product drops, companies or individuals can tip the scales in their favor — depriving genuine sneaker fans of a chance to acquire a coveted item.

Contest image of Virgil Abloh x Nike Air Jordan 1 Chicago for Heartbeats 4 sneakers contest
The Virgil Abloh x Nike Air Jordan 1 Chicago is one of the sneakers available through the raffle event.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Klarna

The problem has become so rampant that some individuals will spend hundreds of dollars to acquire bot technology, according to industry experts. This prices out many consumers, particularly those who rely on a sweepstake or raffle to gain access.

“Heartbeats 4 sneakers” aims to disrupt this issue by requiring contestants to put their finger on the camera lens of either a smartphone or desktop. Heart-rate technology will then detect whether the entrant is a human not a bot — and only those who pass this test will be entered into the raffle. The winners will be announced no later than July 30.

“At Klarna, we believe everyone should get what they love in life and in shopping,” said CMO David Sandstrom. “That’s why we’ve created Heartbeats 4 sneakers especially for the sneaker community. Finally a sneaker raffle where your chance to win is purely based on your love for sneakers, not your access to bots or special intel, ensuring only those who truly love sneakers end up the rightful owners.”

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