In today's world, technology is rapidly evolving. New technological advancements that are emerging on a daily basis are revolutionizing the operations in various sectors. The same can be said of the sports sector where various innovations are taking football to greater heights.
By now, almost everyone knows about goal-line technology. Though many had second thoughts about this system when it first arrived, it has really proved to be a valuable addition. So, what are the innovations that will change the world of football in the future? We take a closer look in this article.
1. Player Health Monitoring
Normally, the health monitoring of players is done via complicated laboratory tests. However, in the near future, we're likely to see the use of smart clothing items. These include socks, shorts, shirts, and pants that are made from advanced fabrics and integrated with sensors. When worn by players, these items will gather data from muscle activity, heart rate, breathing rate, perspiration and temperature. In fact, a new innovation known as IDOVEN has already set the pace. This technology uses AI to assess cardiovascular health by monitoring a player's heart activity during training.
2. Real-Time Analysis of Player’s Performance
In the near future, we're going to see technology helping to analyze players' performance in real-time. Advanced monitoring apps and associated technologies will be able to provide information like muscle fatigue during a match. Consequently, this info can help coaches to make correct decisions on whether to substitute a player or not. For example, German football players usually wear smart Adidas jerseys that monitor their speed and pulse. Coaches then use this data to detect irregularities that indicate changes in player performance.
3. Algorithmic Injury Predictions
The biggest challenge in any football team is injuries among players. Thanks to Artificial Intelligence, players can now be kept in top condition. This is because the technology can be used to predict when one is about to get injured. In fact, it has already become an important component with several teams embracing it. A good example is the Zone7 AI programme which analyses medical profiles and fitness assessments of players to determine their risk of injury. Currently, over 50 clubs in the world already use this technology and many will soon jump on the bandwagon.
4. Algorithmic Match Outcome Predictions
When fans want to predict the outcome of a soccer match, they usually use their own knowledge and experience. However, since AI is pretty good in the analysis of big data, this can be done much faster and more effectively. Currently, there are three algorithms that use player performance indicators and previous results to predict outcomes of matches. These are Support-Vector Machine (SVM), Artificial Neural Network (ANN) and Random Forest (RF). Going forward, we're going to see these technologies being used extensively in football predictions.
5. Robot Field Officials
In recent times, offside calls during football matches have come under increased scrutiny. VAR, the video technology that reviews the referee's decisions has disappointed fans on numerous occasions. To address these shortcomings, FIFA is thinking of a new approach, namely using robots. One of the innovations in consideration is "Tracab" which uses AI-enabled ball tracking, limb tracking and skeletal modelling to process data. Consequently, it can determine the precise moment of a ball pass and the exact location of players, hence detecting true offsides.
6. In-Stadium Drone Security and Digital Crowd Management
Artificial Intelligence is a technology that sites like platincasino.com/ie/ can use to enhance players' gaming experience. Apart from that, it can also be used to implement drone security and digital crowd management in football stadiums. A good example is SAB, a programme that uses AI algorithms to detect events such as fights, fire and vandalism. This technology has already been embraced by football clubs such as Borussia Dortmund and Real Sociedad. In fact, it's part of the Bundesliga’s propositions for bringing football fans back into the stadiums.
7. VR and Holograms
Technological innovations are not only changing the game for football players but also for football fans. Considering the global Covid-19 pandemic, football fans were stripped of the luxury of cheering for their favourite team on a stadium, instead they were stuck at home, watching football matches on their TVs or laptops. So imagine if you could watch any football game with the help of VR and hologram technology. You can find yourself sitting in the company of your friends, in a close proximity to holographic projections of the football players. Perhaps, this will become a reality in the near future.
In the football world, technology is building formidable athletes and maintaining their safety on the field. To the fans, it is helping them to follow the action and to directly connect them with their favourite players. Going forward in 2022 and beyond, we expect technological advancements to change this beautiful game for the better.
The aforementioned are some high-tech innovations that will transform football. However, this list isn't exhaustive since there are plenty of technologies that will come. Other notable mentions include Remote Cheering and AI-driven talent scouting. While some of these innovations are already in use, others will undergo further development.