The FIFA World Cup, 2018 has well and truly kicked off with an exhilarating schedule of games. We’ll be glued to the screens over the coming weeks – not just for the football but also to see the how some of the new technology is going to play out, too.
Yes, we’re footie fans but we’re also tech geeks, and for the first time ever, the World Cup will be utilising some new tech innovations such as VAR (Video Assistant Referee). This new video system has been designed to assist refs in making more accurate decisions by using video replay and goal line sensors.
VAR is not intended to replace the decisions of the refs but provides another layer in instances where penalties, goals, red cards and player identity are in question.
As with many decisions made in a football match, there’s no doubt it will cause some controversy due to the speed in which it can be used and how it could affect match play and crowd enjoyment due to introspective decisions and delays.
However, time lost has been shown to be minimal and the benefits are proving to outweigh any downtime. Analysis is already demonstrating an increase in referee accuracy from 93% to 99% in the four categories where VAR is currently used.
The sporting world is starting to feel the effects of IoT
This will certainly herald the start of a new technology-influenced environment in football, which has been slower to adopt new tech in comparison to tennis, for example. Now that the doors have been opened, we expect this to kick off a surge of many new technologies that embrace IoT and connected devices in games to come.
It’s hard to remember when wearables, for example, were once a strange new technology but they have revolutionised the way players now train and perform. In fact, football is now a faster game than it ever has been. This is one of the reasons for the introduction of VAR as it has become increasingly difficult for the refs to have eyes on every angle.
For now, though, we’re going to keep our eyes on the game. Come on England!