December 14, 2007 adidas and Cairos Technologies have unveiled a new Goal Line Technology and the adidas intelligent football at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan which finishes this weekend. The official match ball of the tournament, adidas Teamgeist II, features a new technology designed to assist the referee’s decision in determining when and if the ball has crossed the goal line, making it the most accurate football ever produced. While it may seem an extravagant use of technology to determine accurately something which rarely comes into question (with one or two goals per team per side, and a net to catch the balls when they have crossed the goal-line, this technology will only make a difference once in every several hundred games), the entire Cairos system which supports this technology is capable of tracking the ball and all player movements in real time. Our money is on the full blown Cairos technology eventually being adopted at the elite level, partly because it would further human understanding of human physiology and the tactics of the complex game of soccer (player movements and condition can be tracked in real time), but mainly because the eye candy information graphics that can be generated from the goldmine of data - the power of television and its quest to add uniqueness to its coverage will spawn the adoption of the entire Cairos system.
“The purpose of the adidas intelligent ball and Goal Line Technology is to provide greater transparency during a match and to assist the referee in making quick decisions that can impact the outcome and quality of the game” said Hans-Peter Nuernberg, Senior Development Engineer, adidas Innovation Team. “We expect the system to perform very well during the FIFA Club World Cup™ in Japan and we will continue to refine the system so that it is 100% accurate.”
The intelligent technology implemented in the Teamgeist II uses a magnetic field to provide real-time feedback to a central computer, which tracks the location of the ball on the field and sends the data directly to the referee. By using a magnetic field and more stabilized and robust components within the ball, the new system is more precise and is not influenced by in-game factors, adverse weather or nearby technical systems.
“With the complexities and precision needed for Goal Line Technology, it is imperative that the system is tested in a variety of competitive in-game situations,” said Christian Holzer, COO of Cairos technologies. “The opportunity to test the new technology during such a competitive tournament will supply us with the valuable feedback needed in order to continue refining the system.”
Since 2003, adidas and Cairos in cooperation with FIFA, have developed the Goal Line Technology, which was first publicly tested in 2005 during the U-17 FIFA World Cup™ in Peru. The first system used radio transmissions to correspond with a central computer and a microchip suspended in the ball to determine its location on the field. The new Goal Line Technology and adidas intelligent ball have been redeveloped since 2005 to address the critical situations in which better accuracy is needed.
Following the testing during the FIFA Club World Cup™ in Japan, the results will be evaluated and next steps will be determined by Cairos technologies and adidas as to when the system will be ready to test again publicly. The new system currently meets all International Football Association Board (IFAB) requirements and the ball has been approved by FIFA for competitive international play.