The first Digital World Cup

Tech innovations of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil are amazing!

Even if you aren’t a ‘futbol’ / soccer fanatic, the high tech innovations of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil are amazing! They include an astounding range of innovations, from vanishing free kick-lines to ‘smart balls, ‘smart clothing’ that keeps players cool, and high tech boots that improve speed and skill.

And, if you are a fan, there are information-rich free apps that allow you to follow the games and upstage outspoken friends who think they know more about the latest stats and key players than you do.

Multiple viewing and tracking options for fans and players

Because there are so many viewing options and apps available to fans, it’s important to avoid phishing and other scams from dodgy websites. – What’s (relatively) safe? Begin with Google’s in-line search results for “World Cup.” There you can see current scores, upcoming game schedules and other important data. Also, Twitter gives fans the option of supporting their teams by using ‘hashflags’ comprised of three-letter codes (e.g., #ENG).
Whether you’re viewing the games on your TV, tablet, smartphone, or computer, you are participating in the most connected, interactive World Games ever. Of note: tablets and smartphones have become the most prominent betting terminals.
WhatsApp is a smartphone instant messaging app that players are using to stay in touch with one another during tournaments. Likely to become standard by the 2018 World Cup, some teams are now using personalized iPads packed with information about their opponents, including video footage.
Here’s a very short list of other free recommended World Cup apps:

  • FIFA Official App

    – (App Store / Google Play) – featuring all World Cup action with game schedules, team profiles and other information.

  • ESPN FC Soccer & World Cup

    – (App Store / Google Play) – with a dedicated World Cup tab for the latest news, scores, and game stats.

  • World Soccer Finals

    – (App Store / Google Play) – with extensive game information, including live results.

  • World Cup 2014 Brazil

    – Google Play – an Android app allowing customized tracking of selected teams and matches.

New technology for players and the playing field

  • Goal Control-4D Technology:

    World Cup history has been plagued by controversial goal calls made by referees and their two linesmen assistants. Fortunately, we now have goal control technology in place that uses 14 high-speed cameras (7 dedicated to each goal). It operates at 500 frames a second to capture the exact three-dimensional position of the ball.

  • Vanishing Foam Lines:

    The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has initiated the use of vanishing foam for referees to mark defensive lines during free kicks. It vanishes within minutes letting players continue playing without visual impediment.

  • High-Tech Football Boots:

    Notice how players’ shoes have evolved in the past few decades? They are much thinner and lighter, with less material between the foot and ball, enhancing the players’ sense of touch and ability to control the ball.

  • Cooling Kits/Clothing:

    Even in winter, Brazil can be hot, especially in venues like Manaus, deep in the Amazon with temperatures that can approach 100F. Pre-cooling sleeves and vests with hyper absorbent qualities have been developed for players in such venues before and after matches.

  • A More Predictable Football:

    Finally, there’s the new Brazuca football which will be used in all World Cup games. Consisting of six propeller-shaped polyurethane panels, it has a rougher texture and more seams than the 2010 Jabulani ball used in the South Africa Cup. Because it’s less smooth, it will be less prone to unpredictable trajectories.

  • One among Many Training Innovations:

    The new Adidas Smart Ball has built in sensors that integrate with a Bluetooth app to help players learn and master different kicking and ball control skills.