Oyero Abiodun Yakub
A new technological advancement was introduced at the beginning of the ongoing World Cup tournament to make even more fair decisions on the field by using a hi-tech football called Al Rihla for the competition.
Adidas, the official ball sponsor for the World cup presented the tech football that has a 14-gram sensor inside and allows it to be tracked in real-time, and get its exact location at any given moment during play.
These features allow the ball’s exact location to be gotten while judging goals during play, also aiding the work of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
The balls are charged before each match due to the sensor inside, which is powered by a small battery and lasts around 6 hours of active use and up to 18 days when not in use. The sensor which was developed and manufactured by KINEXON and their co-founder Maximilian Schmidt claimed any time the ball is impacted, the system picks it up at a rate of 50 frames per second.
Schmidt said “Data is sent in real-time for sensors to a Local Positioning System (LPS), which involves a setup of network antennas installed around the playing field that take in and store the data for immediate use. When a ball fires out of bounds during the course of play, and a new ball is thrown or kicked in to replace it, KINEXON’s backend system automatically switches to a new ball’s data input without the need for human intervention.
This technology enabled FIFA to decide on Portugal’s opening goal against Uruguay.
The ball which was crossed in by Bruno Fernandes in the 54th minute found the back of the net and was credited to Christiano Ronaldo after the veteran jumped to touch the ball with his head. After several checks by the VAR and the intervention of Adidas, the goal was awarded to Bruno Fernandes, proving that Ronaldo didn’t come in contact with the ball.