Technologies that changed the face of football

Technology and sport are seeing a lot of encounters these days. In many ways, technology has been instrumental in the progress of the game, adding a certain level of ease to the decision-making process. However, some critics have also blamed it fo

YOSHIKAZU TSUNO / AFP

GoalRef

Is it a goal?? Or maybe it isn’t? Now fans wouldn’t have to worry, all thanks to GoalRef, a variant of the Goal-Line Technology.

Three ‘devices’ are at play here – a chip-fitted ball, sensors around the goal post and a smart watch for the referee. Once the ball crosses the line during the match, it enters the electromagnetic field created around the goalpost and triggers off a signal to the referee’s watch within a second.

FRANCOIS XAVIER MARIT / AFP

Goal Control

Another variant of the goal-line technology, it is used as an alternative to the GoalRef system. Intensive, high-definition cameras pitched at a high altitude on each side of the stadium are directed towards each goal. A rapid image sequence then helps capture the ‘controversial’ moment on digital and the system then sends the final result in the form of a signal to the referee – all this happening in less than a second!

Karim Benzema’s World Cup 2014 goal against Honduras is an example here.

YASUYOSHI CHIBA / AFP

Vanishing Spray

Many a times, in the element of the game, a player taking a free-kick may overstep his mark and try to shoot. This causes (and has caused) a furore on the opponent team’s part. Thanks to Brazil, now we have Vanishing Spray!

Invented in 2000, this spray, consisting of butane, water, surfactant and oil and when applied on the field as a marker, it stays on for a very minimal amount of time in a foamy form. It eventually ‘vanishes’ leaving behind only water, causing no inconvenience to the players.

It was first used on the world class level in the 2011 Copa America tournament.

TOUSSAINT KLUITERS / ANP / AFP

Wearable Technology

Tracking the performance levels at training sessions for analysis is something that technology has made available for football. Players’ jerseys are fitted are fitted with electronic chips and their exertion and heart rate levels help coaches come up with a strategy for the game.

Its famous users are the German national team and MLS side Seattle Sounders.

OLI SCARFF / AFP

Footbonaut

A very effective, and a very expensive technology. Footbonaut checks your reflexes and improves upon the player’s first touch skills. Imagine standing in the middle of a room and balls being shot at you from four different corners and you have to direct the ball to a special zone marked by an LED light – with the least amount of touches!

Currently used by Borussia Dortmund, this technology helps better one’s ball control and balance, too.

SportVU

This video will explain it:

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