Football fans all around the world were anxiously waiting for 2018 as it is the year of World Cup. And it is safe to say that this World Cup lived up to the expectations very well.
Technology has influenced this World Cup through and through as it has played a considerable part in it both during games and off them. One of the changes we have seen so far is the brand-new attitude adopted for the usage of the video replay technology and tactical analysis. Even though they are a little late, but FIFA and has finally acknowledged the necessity of technology. Systems including Video referrals were a part of almost all other major sports for a very long time now and football is just catching up to it now.
Goal-line Technology debuted 4 years ago in Brazil during the previous edition of the World Cup after many ups and downs. And now, in this year’s World Cup we will be witnessing VAR (Video Assistant Referees). This is probably the most notable change adopted by the global governing body of football in a long time. A group of assistant referees will be supporting on-field referee through centralized rooms specially set up for the video-operations.
The BIG BANG Referee
Hublot has developed the official smartwatches for this year’s FIFA World Cup. The BIG BANG Referee is run by Wear OS and it is accompanied with goodies of World Cup theme.
Commercial variants of these smartwatches display real-time information about scores, bookings, substitutions and more. It is priced at $5,200 and it shouldn’t be a surprise knowing that there are only 2018 of these watches available in the market.
A special version of these smartwatches, which is specifically non-commercial, is worn around the wrists of referees. It includes all the functions of the commercial variant of watches and above that, it also includes the goal-line interface which connects it to the goal-line technology.
Adidas has manufactured this World Cup’s soccer ball, which shouldn’t be of any surprise as it has been doing so since 1970. The ball used this year is a little bit more enhanced than the ones used in previous tournaments as it has an NFC chip installed in it. Although this enhancement is purely for the assistance of the consumer as it won’t benefit the athletes in keeping a track of their headers or shoots. It works on iOS as well as Android devices and can be dubbed as a fan experience more than anything.
Electronic Performance and Tracking Systems
Each of the 32 teams in this world cup will be provided with Electronic Performance and Tracking System. Officials will be able to track, record and read the information about any player’s performance, positional data and metrics, as well as their video footages. All these functions will experience a 30 seconds delay. 3 tablets will be provided to each of these 32 teams. One for their analyst sitting on the bench, one for the analyst standing in the stands, and one for their chief medical officer.
Others are joining the party too as Catapult Sports just released a public statement about FIFA approving its tracking devices and which has given them FIFA’s IMS mark.