It is the day 3 of FIFA World Cup 2018 being held in Russia. Sports lovers will get to witness six teams in action. The matches include France vs Australia, that starts at 3:30 pm IST, Argentina vs Iceland, starting from 8:30 pm, and Peru vs Denmark, being held at 9:30 pm. Also, enjoy the live matches on SonyLIV, JioTV, and Airtel TV app.

Technology plays an important role for the broadcasters, organizers, and spectators at earlier iterations of the tournament. Russia 2018 is no exception.

The last FIFA World Cup in Brazil experienced the debut of goal-line technology. The first time the referees had ever received any artificial help in making decisions. This year will see the advent of video-assisted referees (VAR). A development which is almost certain to make headlines this summer.

5- Electronic Performance and tracking systems

FIFA World Cup 2018

The second major FIFA innovation is Electronic Performance and tracking systems. It is a tablet-based system that will give coaches for all 32 teams access to player statistics and video footage in real time.

EPTS works with the camera-based systems and wearable technology, the latter of which as approved by FIFA back in 2015. For the World Cup, data will be collected via two optical tracking cameras located on the main stand. The teams will also have access to selected tactical cameras.

4- 4K UHD Video and VR

Each World Cup seems to herald the arrival of a new broadcast technology and this year It’s 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD). There were 4K trials at Brazil 2014, but this is the first time a 4K feed will be made available to broadcasters.

The first is that matches will only be available online via the BBC iPlayer – not via television. The second is that the streams will be on a first-come-first-served basis. This means only tens of thousands of people will be able to watch at any one time.

3- VAR

FIFA World Cup 2018

Few recent changes to football have been as divisive as VAR. The idea is simple, the referees can refer game-changing situations like goals, penalties, red cards, and mistaken identity to a video referee who can help. VAR has been tested in several competitions, including the FA Cup. But it has not deterred from using VAR at all 64 matches.

A dedicated video assistant referee team comprising a lead VAR and three assistant VARs. It will be located at the Video Operation Room (VOR) in the International Broadcast Centre Moscow.

VARs can speak to the referee using a fiber-based radio system, while 33 broadcast camera feeds and two dedicated offside cameras are directly transmitted to the VOR using the same network. Eight of these feeds are super slow-motion and four are ultra-slow motion. At knockout games, there will be two additional ultra-slow-motion cameras.

The idea is that each VAR looks at a different camera feed, informing referees of any mistakes or missed incidents, or when the referee asks for assistance.

But the biggest issue will be ensuring that the speed of the game isn’t affected and that’s before you consider many referees at this FIFA World Cup will never have used VAR.

2- 5G in Russia

This World Cup has arrived a little too early for 5G, but both TMS and Megafon are the official communication partners fro the Worlds Cup. It will be holding trials of the technology in Russia during the event.

Ericsson and MTS revealed the World Cup would play host to the largest deployment of Massive MIMO to date. It is an advanced mobile technology. Also, the installation of 5G-capable radio equipment at more than 40 sites in seven of the 11 host cities. This network will cover stadiums, fan zones, and transportation hubs as well as famous landmarks.

1- Adidas Telstar ball

FIFA World Cup 2018

Adidas has manufactured the official match ball for every World Cup since 1970. This year’s ‘Telstar 18’ is a reimagining of Adidas’s first World Cup ball. It features a  “brand new carcass and panel design”. It improves performance durability both in the stadium and on the street.

The most interesting aspect is the inclusion of a Near Field Communication (NFC) chip. NFC is the same technology that powers things like Apple Pay and Android Pay. It also allows the ball to communicate with a smartphone.

However, it is the first time an NFC chip has ever been included in a match ball. So it could pave the way for future versions to be even smarter.

Adidas previously released a soccer ball called the miCoach Smart Ball. The miCoach Smart Ball used sensors to track metrics like speed and trajectory. But it was never durable enough to be used in a game.

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