Among them is a high-tech ball integrated with FIFA’s new semi-automatic offside technology (SAOT) and an advanced version of VAR (video assistant referee).
The official ball of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is called Al Rihla. The case when the ball is really a technological novelty. Inside the ball there is a special system developed by Adidas. Part of it is an inertial motion sensor that sends data 500 times per second. The sensor provides a unique understanding of each element of the ball’s movement and is battery operated. The data sent by the sensor helps detect fuzzy touches. This improves the quality and speed of the VAR decision-making system, as well as the semi-automatic offside detection system. The one that worked when Lionel Messi scored Argentina’s third goal in the final.
Photo: Egor Aleev / TASS
This technology uses twelve cameras installed under the roofs of the stadiums to follow the movement of the ball. Up to 29 data points per player are simultaneously tracked 50 times per second. These collected data points include all protruding limbs and parts of the player’s body that are relevant to the offside rule. The same signals transmitted by the ball complement the information. They allow you to set the moment of the pass.
The system is complemented by artificial intelligence algorithms. They analyze the position and movement of the players and the ball. The data is collected by video cameras and processed at high speed in real time. They allow for more reliable detection of infringements of the rules, including the awarding of free kicks and penalties, as well as the issuance of yellow cards or the sending off of players. This information is transmitted to the referees who serve the VAR system.
The information processed by the system is rendered in 3D animation. In the future, it is shown on stadium screens and transmitted to television companies that broadcast the matches.
Players received a special FIFA Player application. Collect all the data about the game. This allows you to see the analysis of your own game and that of other players after each match. The app also contains physical performance metrics collected through in-stadium tracking. For example, it shows the distance traveled at various speed thresholds, the number of actions at speeds above 25 km/h and the maximum speed.
Photo: FIFA Player App
Two more technologies, called Bonocle and Feelix Palm, allow visually impaired fans to enjoy the game.
Bonocle is a Braille-based entertainment platform. Thanks to the transcoding function and Bluetooth, visually impaired people can enjoy the games with all the fans. According to the developers, “the system allows blind people around the world to feel the rhythm of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in a new way, previously inaccessible… It removes all barriers that limit blind people and opens them up doors to explore new things and new places.
Feelix Palm is a wrist communicator with tactile features. Using electrical impulses, the system sends special Braille-like messages to the visually impaired without restricting their movement or hearing.
Well, a more familiar video surveillance system for all fans. More than 15,000 cameras equipped with face and action recognition systems have been installed in Qatar’s stadiums. Artificial intelligence algorithms make it possible to identify potentially dangerous people and recognize objects with the help of which others can be harmed. In addition, they can analyze the mood of the crowd so that law enforcement has time to react and calm down fans who are showing aggression.