From flying security to scarves that feel, tech is taking off in football (Picture: Getty/ Supplied)
The days where football was just about the players, the pitch and the ball are long behind us.
Now it’s a huge industry, where tech plays an increasingly important part.
And while we all have thoughts about VAR, it’s not the only way computers are getting involved in the sport.
From GPS-loaded bras to semi-automated offside tech, all kinds of cool gadgetry will play a huge role in this year’s football season.
Let’s take a look at what we can expect to see on the pitch.
For the players
Connected kit just for women
Get connected (Picture: StadSports)
We might still be bouncing for a while yet after the Lionesses were crowned European champions but it’s also a reminder that there’s domestic action set to resume in the women’s game too.
The Women’s Championship starts on August 20 with the Women’s Super League following a month later. Many of the players will likely be donning StatSports’ GPS sports bra, which is capable of capturing metrics like maximum speed, sprints and stress loads.
This connected bra is able to provide more security, includes removal cups to offer the best support for players and replaces StatSports’ unisex version of its GPS-packing smart garment.
The sports data company also counts Manchester City, Southampton and England women’s team as clients, so expect those senior sides to be donning these connected sports bras in the upcoming season.
A smarter offside call
That’s offside (Picture: Serhat Akin)
One of the most contentious laws in the game should hopefully become less controversial at the World Cup in Qatar later this year, as Fifa has said it will use semi-automated offside technology at the tournament to offer the referee teams the best tech on field to make the right calls.
The new system uses a combination of artificial intelligence, tracking cameras mounted to the roof of stadiums and tracking sensors planted inside the official World Cup ball.
All three combine to deliver positional data that will generate automated offside alerts to video match officials. That alert is manually checked by those off-field officials before the man in the middle is notified.
It’s already been trialled at two Fifa tournaments with the hope that going semi-automated will make offside calls faster and, most vitally, more accurate.
For the fans
A scarf that feels
Feel it (Picture: Kieran Galvin/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
An upgrade on the scarf you can pick up outside the ground, Manchester City and technology company Cisco have taken the stadium garment staple and given it powers to learn how supporters experience the on-pitch action.
The smart scarf is fitted with an EmotiBit sensor capable of tracking heart rate, temperature and emotional arousal through an EDA sensor to analyse reactions to key moments in the game.
It’s been pilot tested by six Manchester City fans already and is going to continue tracking those City fans as they chase more …read more