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AI and IoT in FIFA: Smart Sports

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Most football enthusiasts will know that the sport has been a bit slower than others when it comes to adopting new technologies. There are several speculated reasons for this — the game’s age and the fact that it is dominated by traditionalists — to name a few. Nevertheless, this year’s football world cup seems to have strongly deviated from this trend. Using technologies like AI and IoT in FIFA is changing the way the game is played and enjoyed by fans.

If you didn’t know already, the Russian world cup is bringing in a lot of modernization into the game. These include explicit front-end additions like the goal line tracking and the video-assisted referee systems and implicit, team-oriented technologies like the electronic performance tracking system.

Let us explore how these technologies work and where their roots lie through the following infographic.

The above image is just an illustration of what can be achieved using technologies like artificial intelligence and internet of things in the field of football. Let’s now elaborate on how these new-age innovations make the game better, and also look at a few real-world applications that are in play at the 2018 World Cup.

Dawn of a New Age: AI and IoT in FIFA

Just a few years back, tracking player performance and stats was a difficult task. Most team managers and coaches relied on data collected externally or data that could be measured after plays. With technologies like IoT out in the market, this was an obsolete approach. IoT makes data collection convenient. In fact, unlike old technologies, IoT allows collection of more data in real-time.

Let’s take an example here. If you wanted to collect the performance stats of a player in your team five years ago, you needed heavy equipment placed around the stadium to measure the movement and speed of a player. For other personal stats like heart-rate and stress level, a player had to wear equipment which would measure the data and coaches and medical personnel could review it only after the play was over.

Now, using technologies like AI and IoT in FIFA, tracking all of this data is as easy as slapping a wristband on all players. The device on the player records data and passes it to a centralized server in real-time. This data is further processed using big data analytics and machine learning algorithms to help coaches and managers gain important insights into how they could help their players improve their play. This technology has been named electronic performance tracking system or EPTS.

Goal-line tracking also works in a similar manner using analytics and a direct connection between goal lines and a central server.

As you can see, although slow, football has started taking advantage of modern technologies to make playing, coaching and enjoying the game better than ever before. And, as with every field, once technology takes root within it, revolutions happen and trends go up exponentially.

If you like our World Cup 2018 coverage, check out our blog on “5 Technologies Changing Football”. Be sure to subscribe to our blog for more FIFA and technology-related coverage.

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