Electronic bugs in football balls and players’ shinpads
January 10th, 2005
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Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits have developed a wireless ball and player location system that can immediately tell referees and game analysts where the soccer ball or striker is at any point in time.

The chips, implanted in balls and players’ shinpads, read their position up to 2000 times a second. The data is collected by antennas placed around the field and sent on to a central computer, which processes the statistical information.

The new technology could, for example, inform spectators that the ball missed the goalpost by 3.9 centimeters. Coaches could also tell which players were hustling around the pitch, and which were holding back, either out of fatigue or laziness.

The technology could help referees when the calls they must make seal the fates of careers, titles and millions of euros.

Other sports could benefit from the chips, such as ski jumping, basketball or baseball. And besides sports, tests using the chips in airports are underway. Developers claim the system could also be used in searching for missing persons, guarding prisoners or maintaining security around buildings.

Via Deutsche Welle.
See also Thomas’ previous post The era of sentient footballs.


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