A Closer Look At The Tech Used in FIFA’s 2022 World Cup
The past year has been rich in technological advancements – an unsurprising development as the world dives ever deeper into the Fourth Industrial Revolution. A fantastic opportunity to view these advancements is the way technology has been used in the sporting world, because really, the sporting world is no stranger to technology.
Especially football, where video analysis was first introduced in 1980, giving coaches, referees, and players the ability to rewatch games and analyse player movement from a completely different angle. Today is no different, as proven by FIFA Presdent Gianni Infantino, who was quoted saying that “FIFA is committed to leveraging technology to improve the game of football at all levels.”
Leaping ahead, the football industry has embraced a variety of technologies from in-game technology that controls how the game is played to health and skill tracking for players. As a result, the 2022 World Cup included some of the newest technology advancements in football, such as the high-tech match ball, coupled with FIFA’s new Semi-automated Offside Technology (SAOT), and an improved version of the current VAR (video assistant referee).
The outcome is a bevy of innovative technology that has been deployed to better host, support the event, and improve the game for both players and spectators.
Let’s look at the key connected solutions that were used during the FIFA World Cup event that took place over November/December 2022.
First used at the 2018 Russian World Cup, VAR tech was adopted by all the major European leagues. The FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022 took this a step further with its semi-automated offside technology (SAOT). SAOT tracks the ball with 12 dedicated cameras positioned beneath the stadium roofs. It also tracks up to 29 data points on each player 50 times per second, including all limbs and extremities that are important for determining offside. This enables the system to determine a player’s precise location on the field.
Anytime the ball is retrieved by an attacker who was in an offside position, this data is combined with artificial intelligence to automatically send an offside alert to the video match officials in the video operating room who can verify the proposed decision and inform the on-field referee.
Offside decisions are made more precisely – in a matter of seconds.
Connected Ball Technology
Adidas unveiled the official match ball of the 2022 World Cup, “Al Rihla” which translates to “the journey” in Arabic and was intended to fairy fly and enable the fastest game speeds. The ball relies on Adidas Suspension System, which includes a motion sensor that records every touch made during play at a rate of 500 times per second.
The motion sensor inside the ball collects very precise ball movement data that can instantly be relayed to video match officials. VAR can use this data to provide instant information and aid better decision making.
There were certain realities of hosting the FIFA World Cup in Qatar that needed to be addressed on a wider scale. Namely, the sheer heat which had the power to destabilise both players and spectators alike. To that end, Qatar constructed seven of the eight stadiums using Advanced Cooling Tech. This ground-breaking innovation sends chilled water through a pipeline from a nearby energy center to the stadium, forcing chilly air onto the playing field and sitting sections for spectators.
In an effort to make this technique as green as feasible, insulation and spot cooling is used.
Following the VAR innovation,
The data captured by the cameras, together with the information recorded by the ball which shows the exact positions of the players at the instant that they were offside, including the player’s limb positions at the time the ball was played, has allowed for computerised 3D animations.
This 3D animation has the capacity to display the optimum angles for an offside scenario on the stadium screens. This was made available to FIFA’s broadcast partners to show spectators in the most understandable manner.
What Does The Future Look Like In Your Business?
The power that technology unleashes is open ended in the digital age. Your business could leverage any kind of tech in any number of areas to help mitigate risks, reduce costs, protect their businesses from cyberthreats, reach new customers, and provide a distinctive value proposition to your customers.
Maybe you don’t need to cool down an entire stadium, but your garden café would boom with a connectivity solution that cools your customers and streamlines your inventory and payment systems. Regardless of the size of your business and in which industry you play, we can help you empower your business.