Thursday, June 12, 2014

World Cup 2014 MVP...Technology: The First 'Digital World Cup'

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Who is excited for the World Cup to kick-off!? This afternoon (1:00 pm PST) Brazil will be facing off against Croatia in the first match-up of World Cup 2014: Brazil!  

This World Cup is going to be much different than the previous years, though. People are referring to it as the first ‘digital World Cup’ impart because of the the emphasis on smartphone applications and fan connectivity via social media. Twitter is going to be a sort of ‘ESPN zone’ for your phone; fans can stay updated with their favorite teams and share with others their own thoughts using ‘hashflags’ (tweeting using the three letter code for their country, i.e. #ITA). “The popularity of smartphones will make this year’s World Cup the most connected and interactive tournament ever” (Source: Why World Cup 2014 will be the Most High-Tech Tournament Yet).

Looks like wearable devices are making an appearance this year as well; FIFA is introducing goal line technology. Now, multiple cameras will be mounted on the goal and once the ball crosses the line, a notification will go out to wrist watches the referees will be wearing indicating ‘GOAL.’ This technology will be particularly useful for referees to determine if the ball passed the line in unclear situations.

Even the soccer balls are getting updated with cutting edge technology and aerodynamic designs. During training, various countries used a ‘smart ball’ equipped with sensors inside the ball to detect speed, spin, strike, and flight trajectory, as well as determining impact points for penalties and corners. Utilizing this technology gives insight into specific data that can help teach players how to improve their game (Source: Check out how much the official World Cup soccer ball design has changed over time.

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These were just a few of the technology highlights that will make their way to World Cup 2014. More tech advancements include security robots, foam spray to draw temporary lines, futuristic soccer cleats, World Cup Instagram profile, different ways to stay cool in the hot weather conditions, and more.  With all these new technologies and innovations, how do you think this will impact the games?