Players at the FIFA World Cup this year could track the details of their games via FIFA Player App, while Bonocle and Feelix Palm are used to make the game inclusive and accessible for the visually impaired.
It’s the most thrilling time of the year as people across the world are witnessing the much-awaited game of football, the FIFA World Cup 2022. This year Qatar is hosting the event and has become the first Arab nation to hold the football grandeur from November 20th to December 18th. From the cooling technology used at the stadiums to the football itself, here are some of the innovative technologies that are a part of one of the biggest games in history.
Al Rihla – motion tracking soccer ball
The official match ball for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, Al Rihla, was revealed in March by the German sportswear company Adidas. This is the 14th successive ball that the company created for the FIFA World Cup. Al Rihla, which means journey in Arabic, is designed to support peak game speeds. The football is claimed to travel faster in flight than any ball in the tournament’s history. The football is equipped with an Adidas Suspension System, which is positioned in the center of the ball and includes a 500Hz inertial measurement unit motion sensor. It sends the ball data to the video operation room 500 times per second and allows very precise detection of the kick point. Keeping sustainability in mind, Al Rihla is the first FIFA World Cup ball made using only water-based inks and glues.
“Designed after rigorous testing in Adidas labs, wind tunnels, and on-pitch, Al Rihla provides the highest level of accuracy and reliability on the field of play, due in part to its new panel shape and surface textures,” the company said in a statement. “An innovative core within the ball is tuned to improve accuracy and consistency, supporting fast, precise play with maximum shape and air retention,” it added.
Cooling systems at stadiums
Being an Arab nation, one of the major concerns surrounding the location of the FIFA World Cup was the heat. FIFA usually organizes the World Cup in the summer season, but it was moved to November because of the Gulf State’s sweltering heat. To reduce the temperature, the stadiums were equipped with new sustainable cooling systems which help to bring the temperature down to 18 to 24 degrees Celsius from the current around 28 to 26 degrees Celsius.
Developed and designed by Qatari professor Saud Abdulaziz Abdul Ghan, also known as Dr. Cool, the cooling system uses a combination of insulation and targeted cooling to reduce the temperature only in places where people are. According to several reports, through an air circulation technique, “warm air is sucked into the stadium’s cooling system, cleaned by water, re-cooled, filtered out, and pumped out again by the jets. This also purifies the air.” Further, under-seat diffusers push air out at an angle to deliver it gently, while sensors around the stadium keep the temperature balanced and adjust air flows accordingly. Keeping sustainability at heart, the cooling systems at the FIFA World Cup stadiums are powered by solar energy.
FIFA Player App
Players at the FIFA World Cup this year could track the details of their games via FIFA Player App, which gives them detailed performance data shortly after each match. It integrates input from professional players, in collaboration with FIFPRO, or Fédération Internationale des Associations de Footballeurs Professionnels, the global representative of professional footballers.
The app is used for the first time at the FIFA World Cup and will help players get insights into their on-field performance. The data collected include enhanced football data metrics, physical performance metrics, and enhanced Football Intelligence metrics along with multiple action photographs. “This data is synchronised with match footage to enable players to watch all key moments of their own performance in detail, using different camera angles,” FIFA, short for Fédération Internationale de Football Association, said.
Bonocle and Feelix Palm – an assistive technology
The FIFA World Cup 2022 organizers have used the Bonocle and Feelix Palm to make the event in Qatar more inclusive and accessible for the visually impaired. Talking about Boncole, it is the world’s first entertainment platform that uses Braille to deliver digital content to blind people. “Bonocle is a portable uni cell braille device that acts like a controller for your smartphone. It’s innovatively and ergonomically designed to work like an infinite line braille display,” the company said.
Feelix Palm, on the other hand, is developed by an Oxford-based company Feelix. It uses tactile palm communicators to transmit Braille-like messages to the visually impaired during matches. “It enables users to get further immersed in their environment by receiving haptic feedback on the palms of their hands,” the company said.