Football innovation in World Cup 2018

By:Preetam Banerjee 2018-06-29

New ideas and innovative technologies are the driving force of World Cup 2018 for improving safety, comfort and performance of the players, referees and the audience in the stadium. The technological innovation covers all the aspects of football- from feasibility analysis of the technological advancements, through the identification of the needs to football stakeholders, the development of the game and global standards. The various tools and technologies that are used in the background will provide constant support to the football stakeholders. Once the technologies mature in the game, FIFA establishes a quality programme in order to standardise the use of technologies and products as listed below.

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  1. Video Assistant Referee (VAR): Video technology will be provided as an additional support for the referees from World Cup 2018. It will be used to correct the missed incidents and obvious errors in a defined match-changing decision. The referees may decide to check out the video footage on a monitor on the field’s side of the questioned incident or depend on the verbal information given by the video assistant referee.
  2. Telstar ball from Adidas: The World Cup’s official game ball this year is the Telstar 18 from Adidas featuring an NFC (Near-Field-Communication) chip that is located on top of the ball. Users can easily communicate with the ball through their smartphones.
  3. Virtual Reality in Broadcasting: The VR product introduces a live 180-degree stream and selected 360-degree clips for all the matches. Broadcasters can now customize the clips on the FIFA app with their own graphics and commentary. The virtual VIP lounge is where the VOD features are stored. This has been commissioned mainly for World Cup 2018.
  4. Goal-Line Technology: The referees rely on this technology that will process the information from fourteen high-speed cameras and send the signal to the referee’s watch within a second to indicate when the game ball has actually crossed the goal line.
  5. Ultra-HD and HDR in broadcasting: The TV division of FIFA this year will be produced in Ultra-HD and High Dynamic Range. If you own an HDR TV, then you can now enjoy the match in HDR. All the 12 stadiums are equipped with about 37 cameras, out of which 8 have HDR/UHD output with about 1080p/SDR feed, while the rest 11 cameras have 1080p/SDR and 1080p/HDR output. The primary feeds of the cameras are supplemented a Cineflex Helicam for replay, a cable camera and 8 super slow-motion cameras.
  6. Tracking system and Electronic performance: FIFA has introduced a number of technological tools and communication equipment for the teams. The technical and medical staff will have workstations and a line to communicate with the medical staff and coaches on the bench. Positional data from 2 optical tracking cameras used to track the ball and players will be made available to the analysts along with the live footage from the tactical cameras. The communication link and the technical information insights provide constant interaction between them to take decisions during the match.

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