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adidas reveals the first official FIFA World Cup™ ball with connected ball technology

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  • Connected ball technology comes to Al Rihla for the biggest stage in sport, providing the VAR team with accurate ball data in real time to support fast and accurate offside calls.
  • A new suspension system from adidas will allow the most accurate timing motion sensor to be used inside an official World Cup match ball, tracking every touch of the game at a speed of 500 times per second.
  • 500Hz inertial measurement unit (IMU) The motion sensor inside the ball will allow highly accurate data on the movement of the ball to be collected and transmitted to the match officials via video within seconds throughout the tournament.

adidas announces that the official match ball of the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ will feature new connected ball technology, which will be used to enhance the VAR system by providing an unprecedented level of data and information to referees to make faster decisions and precise on the biggest stage of all.

Following its introduction in March this year, Al Rihla will be the first official World Cup match ball to feature this innovation, providing accurate ball data, which will be available to video match officials in real time. Combined with player position data and through the application of artificial intelligence, the innovative connected ball technology contributes to FIFA’s semi-automatic offside technology and provides video assistant referees with instant feedback to help optimize decision-making. decisions.

A new adidas suspension system in the center of the ball houses and stabilizes a 500Hz inertial measurement unit (IMU) motion sensor, providing unprecedented insight into every element of ball movement, while making This technology is unnoticeable to gamers and doesn’t affect their performance whatsoever. The sensor is powered by a rechargeable battery, which can be charged by induction.

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Developed in close collaboration with FIFA and KINEXON, leaders in next-generation sensor networks and edge computing, this new technology enables video match officials to review live data for the first time by providing highly accurate information automatically, 500 times per second, when a player has touched the ball.

It will help report offside situations as well as detect unclear touches, ultimately improving the quality and speed of the VAR decision-making process.

Connected ball technology has been rigorously and robustly tested with a number of grassroots and professional football clubs around the world (including blind tests), specifically at the FIFA Arab Cup and FIFA Club World Cup. FIFA 2021 in Abu Dhabi, without any change in performance being perceived.

Holger Kraetschmer - Head of Consumer Foresight, adidas

Holger Kraetschmer, Head of Consumer Foresight at adidas, said: “At adidas we are committed to an active and constant contribution to improving the modern game for both players and fans. From the latest boot technology to rugged clothing, kits and now connected ball technology to help make quick, accurate decisions to improve everyone’s experience, technology and innovation are at the heart of everything we do. “

Johannes Holzmüller, FIFA Director of Football Technology and Innovation, said: “This technology is the culmination of three years of dedicated research and testing by FIFA and our partner adidas to deliver the best possible experience for the referees, teams, players and fans traveling to Qatar later this year. We look forward to seeing semi-automatic offside technology, including connected ball technology, in action at the 2022 FIFA World Cup™.”

Dr. Maximilian Schmidt, Global Sports Lead at KINEXON, said: “As FIFA’s preferred provider for live ball and player tracking, our goal with adidas is to use cutting-edge technology to enhance the experience for everyone involved without changing the game of football. We are confident that with accurate live ball data, connected ball technology will enable a new era of football analysis and fan experience.”

Al Rihla, the official match ball of the 2022 FIFA World Cup™, with its connected ball technology, will be used in all 64 matches of the tournament, starting with the first match on the 21st.St. November. The raw data captured during the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ via connected ball technology and transmitted to Video Match referees is the exclusive property and managed directly by FIFA.

The official match ball with connected ball technology will not be sold or available at retail.

About Adidas

adidas is a world leader in the sporting goods industry. Headquartered in Herzogenaurach/Germany, the company employs more than 61,000 people worldwide and generated sales of €21.2 billion in 2021.

About adidas in Soccer

adidas is the world leader in soccer. It is the official supplier to the world’s biggest football tournaments, such as the FIFA World Cup™, UEFA European Championship, UEFA Champions League and Major League Soccer. adidas also sponsors some of the best clubs in the world, including Real Madrid, Manchester United, Arsenal, FC Bayern Munich and Juventus, as well as major associations such as Germany (DFB), Spain (RFEF), Belgium (RBFA), Argentina (AFA) & (as of January 2023) Italy (FIGC). adidas is also a partner of some of the best athletes in the game, including Leo Messi, Paul Pogba, Mohamed Salah, Paulo Dybala, Karim Benzema, Catarina Macario, Jude Bellingham, Vivianne Miedema, Trinity Rodman, Jennifer Hermoso, Serge Gnabry, Pedri, Joao Felix, Lindsey Horan and Wendie Renard.

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