Can you remember the disastrous decision in the 2010 World Cup, where Lampard’s goal was disallowed?
Well there should be no repeat this year. Goal line technology has come on in leaps and bounds thanks to hawk-eye sensors…so IoT can certainly play its part in keeping referee disputes to a minimum.
In the 2014 World Cup, teams were just starting to make use of analytics and there was no such thing as a virtual referee on the pitch. Four years later, at the 2018 World Cup FIFA is embracing these technologies and in doing so are shaping the way fans watch, athletes train, and referees make decisions.
The World Cup in Brazil was pre-Apple Watch, but was full of new equipment, early iterations of wearable devices and
goal line technology. There was even an exoskeleton powered by brainwaves, that formed part of the opening ceremony.
Fast forward to 2018 - with fast-developing IoT technology - we’re living in a much more connected world.
Wearable devices are common place and athletes regularly use real-time data to make informed decisions about their training. But perhaps the most critical – and controversial role of IoT at the World Cup - will be in the decision to equip the ref to make assisted judgments in real-time on the pitch.
This year video assisted referee (VAR) makes its first appearance and we’re all set to see the impact play out on our own TV screens over the coming weeks.
It’s a simple idea, underpinned by some complex technology.
Referees can ask a video referee for help in ‘game-changing situations’ such as goals, penalties, red cards and mistaken identity.
An assistant referee team comprising a lead VAR plus three assistant VARs will be connected to the ref from the Video Operation Room (VOR) at International Broadcast Centre HQ in Moscow.
The VAR combines data from stadium and on-pitch sensors to triangulate information about the position of both the players and the ball – with assistance being beamed to the referee’s smart watch.
It sounds super-smart – but in reality the tech has proved controversial, with incorrect decisions being made and in-stadium crowds being unaware that VAR is in play alongside their teams.
The system feeds information to broadcasters, commentators and in-stadium infotainment operators – so as well as impacting the action on the pitch, we’re likely to see more computer generated graphics and detailed analytics on our screens as part of this tournament than ever before!
One question that looms large is whether the VAR will be able to transfer data in a way that ensures the speed of the game isn’t affected. Only time will tell – but here at Breed, we’ll be watching with interest to see how evolving IoT technology augments and supports our enjoyment of this year’s World Cup.
Our team has a vested interest. We are already super-familiar with wearable and body sensing technology. Our portfolio of early-stage companies that have benefitted from substantial investment to help take their IoT tech to market and scale includes Wearable Technologies, Gymcraft and Inova Design. We are always on the lookout for other IoT entrepreneurs and innovators with clear goals and winning product ideas…if that sounds like you, why not
get in touch?