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Five World Cup tech innovations In Russia

Before the 2018 FIFA World Cup, a photo illustration shows a replica of the FIFA World Cup Trophy. 
Because soccer is a multibillion-dollar industry with billions of fans, it’s no surprise that the IT industry’s favorite buzzword – “Digital Transformation” – has found its way into the sport.

Indeed, the tournament’s broadcasters, organizers, and fans have all relied heavily on technology in the past, and Russia 2018 is no different. However, the influence of technology on the pitch will be different.

For the first time, goal line technology was used during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The introduction of video assisted referees (VAR) this year will almost certainly grab the attention of the media this summer.

On and off the field, there is a lot of technological innovation taking place.


VAR is the most disputed recent change in sport. Video referees have long been advocated for in soccer, with supporters citing the effectiveness of comparable systems in rugby, tennis, the National Football League (NFL), and even cricket as examples of their use.

Referees can refer “game-changing circumstances,” including as goals, penalties, red cards, and mistaken identity, to a video referee who can help. Even though VAR has been used in various competitions, including the FA Cup, many have called for it to be tweaked or even cancelled.

FIFA, on the other hand, has continued to use VAR in all 64 games. The International Broadcast Center Moscow (IBC) will house a crew of four video assistant referees (VARs), including a head VAR and three associate VARs.

Fiber-based radio systems allow VARs to communicate with the referee and relay 33 broadcast camera feeds and two dedicated offside cameras directly to the VOR. For the slow-motion feeds, there are eight and four, respectively. Two more ultra-slow-motion cameras will be used for knockout games.

Referees are informed of any errors or missed incidences by each VAR, who is looking at a different camera feed.

Referees that use a video assist (VAR)

Although it appears straightforward in theory, the reality has been quite the opposite. Even with access to VAR, referees have nevertheless made erroneous decisions, while the crowds in the stadium are often unaware that VAR has been consulted. To their dismay, VAR officials in the Australian A-League championship final missed an obvious technical fault in goal.

FIFA has promised to improve this procedure with the “VAR Information System,” which will guarantee broadcasters, commentators, and in-stadium information providers are informed. In this section, we’ll talk about the rationale for and outcome of the review in more detail. For broadcasters, the tablet-based solution will also generate television graphics automatically.

Even before considering how many officials in this World Cup have never utilized VAR, the most pressing concern will be keeping the game moving at a reasonable pace.

In the opinion of many, it could turn into a complete and utter catastrophe.

HDR & Virtual Reality

This year’s World Cup marks the debut of 4K Ultra High Definition, a new broadcast technology (UHD). For the first time, now that a large number of viewers have compatible television sets, broadcasters will have access to a 4K stream after 4K testing at Brazil 2014.

There were doubts about whether the feed will be available to UK viewers, but the BBC has now verified that plans are in place. There are, however, a few caveats.

In addition to the fact that the matches will only be streamed online on the BBC iPlayer, they will be accessible on a first-come first-serve basis. At any given time, only a few hundred thousand individuals will be able to witness the event.

Using the BBC Sport VR app, fans will be able to feel like they’re sitting in a private box at the stadium while watching the action.

Before the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 final between Chile and Germany at Saint Petersburg Stadium on July 2, 2017 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, assistant coach Thomas Schneider received the tablet PC for the Electronic Performance and Tracking System.

Systems for Monitoring and Recording Performance

Electronic Performance and Tracking Systems (EPTS), a tablet-based system that will allow all 32 teams’ coaches to access player stats and video footage in real time, is the second major FIFA innovation.

Each team will receive three tablets: one for an analyst in the stands, one for an analyst on the bench, and one for the medical crew. A 30-second delay will be applied to match footage, as well as stats including player placement, passing, pressing, speed, and tackles.

As of 2015, FIFA allowed EPTS’ use of camera-based systems and wearable technology. The World Cup will use two optical tracking cameras on the main stand, as well as a few tactical cameras for each team.

Russia is the first country in the world to implement 5G.

TMS and Megafon, the World Cup’s official telecommunications partner, will conduct 5G experiments in Russia throughout the event, despite the fact that 5G has yet to come in time for this year’s World Cup.

Commercial availability of 5G networks is expected in 2019, bringing with it faster speeds, more capacity, and ultra-low latency. Fans in soccer stadiums of the future will have improved connectivity and new experiences as a result of this technology.

The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, for example, used an Intel-powered network to distribute 360-degree VR content to broadcasters.

Massive MIMO (a cutting-edge mobile technology) and 5G-capable radio equipment will be installed at more than 40 sites in seven of the World Cup’s eleven host cities, Ericsson and MTS said earlier this week.

Stadiums, fan zones, transportation hubs, and well-known sites, such as Moscow’s Red Square, will all be part of this network.

The Telstar ball from Adidas.

Despite goalkeepers’ displeasure, Adidas has been producing the World Cup’s official match ball since 1970, utilizing the tournament as an opportunity for them to demonstrate their latest technological advances.

“Telstar 18,” Adidas’ inaugural World Cup ball, is a redesign with a “whole new carcass and panel design” that is said to boost performance durability in the stadium and on the streets.

A Near Field Communication (NFC) chip is the most interesting feature. NFC is the same technology that enables Apple Pay and Android Pay, and the ball can communicate with a smartphone using this technology.

Aside than that, there isn’t a whole lot of functionality here. There are possibilities for future smarter soccer balls because this is the first time an NFC chip has been integrated into a match ball.

When Adidas first launched the miCoach Smart Ball, it employed sensors to analyze parameters like speed and direction, but it was never sturdy enough to be used in a game.