Euro 2016: Technology In Football

Football tournaments have always been at the forefront at welcoming new technology, be it the blaring vuvuzelas or the nifty vanishing spray the ref uses to mark the 10 yard distance during free-kicks. With the ongoing Euro 2016, a lot of new technologies have been introduced into the fray, let’s take a look at the new technologies UEFA officials have adopted for yet another intense face-off in football.

1. The Adidas Beau Jeu Official Match Ball

Adidas have taken the best elements of the much loved Brazuca, the FIFA World Cup’s Official Match Ball in Brazil last year, and added a French touch to it. The new ball incorporates the innovative panel shape and the surface structure have been enhanced for better grip and improved in-flight visibilty.

2. Anti-Drone Technology

After what went down in the Euro qualifying match between Serbia and Albania, the French authorities have adopted a number of anti-drone measures, which they won’t divulge.

No-fly zones will be declared over every training ground and every stadium during matches. Anti-drone measures that will intercept the drones and take control of them if they are spotted will be used.

An emergency drill was performed in April that imagined a drone carrying chemical agents. The attendance is expected to surpass the previous 2012’s edition in Poland and Ukraine which attracted 1.44 million people, by 30%.

Euro 2016 Chief of Security Ziad Khoury told the Associated Press, “Let’s say it is a dissuasive measure that didn’t exist at previous sports events.

3. Goal-Line Technology

UEFA has finally implemented a goal-line technology to assist the referees in deciding those hair-line goals that have caused a lot of furore in the past. The technology is already in use in a lot of domestic leagues, including the Barclay’s Premier League in England and the German Bundesliga.

There had been a bit of a tussle between the two leading goal-line technology providers, GoalControl, which was tested by FIFA two years ago and the Hawk-Eye system that is favored in U.K. and Germany and already in use in cricket, tennis and rugby matches.

UEFA has decided to with the Hawk-Eye that uses seven camera to track the flight of the ball and indicates through a vibrating device to the referee that a goal has been scored.

4.Live Streaming In Virtual Reality

The VR industry has really been picking up a lot of steam this year with VR headsets and game proliferating. UEFA has given the go-ahead to one of the teams in the Euros to stream their matches live on VR.

Nokia’s OZO camera, that was successfully tested in this year’s Champion’s League Finals will be giving its cutting-edge treatment to live broadcasts of England’s charges in the Euros.

Each of England’s matches will be filmed in 360-degrees, offering a fully immersive virtual reality experience. A few of Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland’s matches too will be stream live in VR.

5. Wearable Tech On The Players

Another trend that has caught with the tech world are wearable technologies like fitness trackers and smartbands. Germany’s World Cup squad used Adidas’ miCoach, two years ago, to monitor everything from the player’s speed to their heart rate and distance run during training sessions.

Earlier, coaches used to count on their own instincts and make their judgement on player’s fitness and the likes. They still will use their instincts, only it will be heightened by the use of a lot of raw data being calculated while the players train or play during matches. Managers will have information on player’s fatigue level, collision load and distance covered to make smart decisions on the field.

The broadcast too will be data-rich, so much to a point that sometimes they will feel like actual betting-sheets instead of team stats. But wearables are here to stay and promotion in huge tournaments like the Euro will only make them more common.