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The Nexus of Forces at World Cup 2014
Irena Bojanova
JUL 10, 2014 01:25 AM
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The Nexus of Forces (defined as convergence and mutual reinforcement of social, mobile, cloud, and information) in combination with the Internet of Everything (IoE) had a game changing role at the World Cup in Brazil. From the advanced goal-line technology system, through the big data analytics systems, the kick off by a paraplegic with a mind controlled exoskeleton, and the ultra HD broadcasting experiments, this year’s World Cup was far the most technologically advanced one. And none of this would have been possible without the advances in cloud computing, mobile computing, big data, IoE, and more. 

See also IT Enhances Football at World Cup 2014.

The Beautiful Game

FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association - the world's football governing body) has held the men’s World Cup every four years since 1930, attracting world’s attention for a solid, breathless month of unforgettable excitement. The Beautiful Game (Figure 1), known as “football in most parts of the world (also called “association football” or “‘soccer”), is the world’s most popular sport - played by 250 million footballers in over 200 countries, and attracting the attention of one quarter of world’s population. The game is being referred to as "futbol" more and more in the US thanks to the clarity it brings - not to be confused with American football, and yet not called soccer (a term non-Americans don't like).

                                                

6/soccer/img/soccer-foot-615.jpg

Figure 1. Football -- The Beautiful Game (Source: National Geographic)

The beauty and magic of football comes from:

  • True teamwork -- a team playing in great harmony is more likely to win over a team with one super star.
  • Diversity of possibilities for winning -- it is practically impossible to predict which team will win a match due to the intermix of nuances, such as strategy, players abilities, chance, team spirit, leadership, and fans.

The World Cup is by far the largest, most connected global sporting event. Worldwide, it has more interest on Google Search than the Big Game, the Olympics, and the Tour de France combined (Figure 2). The opportunity to reach an extremely large audience -- from the crazed to the casual -- doesn’t get any bigger. The tournament structure is comprised of a group stage and elimination rounds. In the group stage, teams play one another, with the top two advancing to elimination rounds

 

is.com/think/images/2014-world-cup_articles_01.png

Figure 2. Search Interest for Major Sporting Events (Data, January 1, 2010–May 14, 2014, Indexed Search Query Volume, Worldwide) (Source: Google)

Emerging Technologies at the 20th World Cup in Brazil

The Nexus of Forces (as Gartner named the convergence and mutual reinforcement of social, mobile, cloud, and information)  in combination with the Internet of Everything (IoE), or as we recently Imagineered it into the Internet of Anything (IoA), showed big the World Cup this year and made it as accessible and exciting as it has never been before.

Table 1 shows some of the mappings between the advanced technologies we saw at the World Cup and those I listed and described in the opening “The Digital Revolution: What’s on the Horizon?” article of the IT Trends Department of the IT Professional magazine earlier this year. We can see that lots of emerging technologies have been utilized by the most popular sports event on the planet.

Table 1. Advanced technology applications/demonstrations at the Brazil World Cup.

 

Application / Demonstration

Technology

Description

Mind controlled exoskeleton kicks off the World Cup. Sensors in the 3D printed headpiece monitor brain activity -- brain waves are interpreted by a computer and control movement of the exoskeleton. The exoskeleton headpiece and sole of the foot have sensors that monitor brain and foot activity and provide feedback.

 


 

Brain-computer interface

Direct communication pathway between brain and external devices.

Human augmentation

Cognitive and physical improvements to humans, augmenting their natural abilities.

Cloud computing

Enables convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet-style network that connects anything that has an assigned IP address and provides ways for interactions between machines, people, and organizations.

3D printing

Additive printing: deposit resin, plastic, or another material, layer by layer, to build up a physical model.

Inkjet printing: image successive layers of plastic powder, hardening each layer on contact.

Goal Line Technology (GLT). The system by FIFA for the 20th World Cup in Brasil is the German GoalControl-4D. It uses seven cameras per goal, which capture up to 500 frames per second and can determine ball’s position with precision of a few millimeters. Image processing removes all objects except the ball. When the ball passes the goal line, the system sends within one second a vibration and an optical signal to referees´ watches. The watches start vibrating and display notification that assists referees with the "goal or no-goal" decision.

 

esources/gc_ballingoal_velttinsarena_sm2.jpg
 

Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet-style network that connects anything that has an assigned IP address and provides ways for interactions between machines, people, and organizations.

Wearable user interfaces

Interface devices worn on the human body (such as a wrist-mounted screen, head-mounted display, computer-ready clothing and smart fabrics) to enable mobility and hands-free/eyes-free activities.

SAP Match Insights analytics turn big data into smart decisions to maximize players’ performance. Players' movements and passes are recorded on the SAP HANA in-memory database platform. The analysis of the data can show certain developments during a match and corresponding correlations, which helps coaches make better decisions. In 10 minutes, 10 players with three balls can produce big data of over 7 million data points, and SAP HANA can process these in real time.

No wonder the German team won the World Cup 2014! *
 

alytics/files/2014/05/untitled2.png
 

Cloud computing

Enables convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

Big data

High-volume, -velocity and -variety information assets, demanding cost-effective, innovative forms of processing.

In-memory database management systems

Data is stored in main memory (instead on disk) for faster and more predictable performance through simpler internal optimization algorithms and execution of fewer CPU instructions.

Mobile health monitoring

Uses wearable and Bluetooth-enabled medical devices to monitor patients’ vital signs.

Prescriptive analytics

Helps determine the best course of action for given objectives, requirements, and constraints.

Adidas Micoach smart ball technology helps players during training. Built-in sensors monitor how hard the ball is struck, track flight trajectories and reveal impact points for penalties and corners. The Micoach app connects via Bluetooth and helps players learn and master various kicking and control skills: how to bend free kicks, take better penalties, generate more power, and avoid injury.

 

ff.com/imagens/stuff/adidas-micoach-smart-soccer-ball.jpg

 

Cloud computing

Enables convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet-style network that connects anything that has an assigned IP address and provides ways for interactions between machines, people, and organizations.

20th World Cup streamed online. Matches are streamed by ESPN, Univision and others over the Internet on the back of Cloud Computing.


 

Cloud computing

Enables convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

FIFA works with Sony, BBC, and NHK (Japan) on experimental live 4K Ultra HD coverage and broadcast in 4K and 8K UHD. BBC transmitted live 4K UHD footage from Brazil via satellite to the UK, where the signals was decoded and distributed over Digital Terrestrial TV (DTT) and streamed over superfast broadband NHK connections. captured and broadcasted in 8K UHD with its as Super Hi-Vision technology, featuring clearer images and more realistic sound -- 16 times the picture quality of HDTV, with 22.2 surround sound.

One of the central planned attractions at the 2014 FIFA World Cup  was the 360-degree viewing experience of the Final Germany-Argentina match. The match was filmed with a Ultra HD OmniCam, developed by scientists at the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute in Berlinis, for capturing UHD 180° and 360° panoramic video shot at a resolution of 2,000 x 10,000 pixels. *

UHDTV Res illustration/sites/whathifi.com/files/images/2014/CES2014/SonyW95TV.jpg

 

Cloud computing

Enables convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

30 Packbot 510 iRobots assist World Cup security - investigate suspicious packages and look out for unusual behavior.

 

om/images/699faa1f-7e52-41f2-b9ef-63055045be3e/packbot_510_world_cup-medium.jpg
 

Mobile robots

Robots capable of moving around in their environment.

 

During the FIFA 2014 World Cup, the football fans broke Twitter records  with 35.6 million tweets sent during the World Cup 2014 Germany’s defeat of Brazil -- the previous record of 24.9 million tweets was during 2014 Super Bowl. The World Cup also shattered the streaming record -- ESPN’s live streams went above 30million hours, enough to make the 2014 World Cup the most-streamed live sporting event in the US ever. * Facebook saw more than 280 million interactions, including shares, comments, and likes from an estimated 88 million users -- the Super Bowl had 245 million FB interactions. **
 
For more details on IT enhancements and what's next, please see also my article IT Enhances Football at World Cup 2014, which will be accessible for free for 60 days on IEEE Computing Now. **
* Added on July 13, 2014. ** Added on July 15, 2014.
 

Please share your thoughts on use of emerging technologies at the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil.


Irena BojanovaIrena Bojanova, Ph.D., is the Founding Chair of IEEE CS Cloud Computing STC, a General Chair of IT Professional Conference, and Editor of Encyclopedia of Cloud Computing, Wiley (to be published 2014). She is also an Associate Editor in Chief and the Editor of the Trends Department of IEEE IT Professional, an Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Cloud Computing, and an Associate Editor of International Journal of Big Data Intelligence (IJBDI). Dr. Bojanova is a professor and program director, Information and Technology Systems, at University of Maryland University College, managed academic programs at Johns Hopkins University and PIsoft Ltd., and co-started OBS Ltd., (now CSC Bulgaria). She is a senior member of IEEE and can be reached at ibojanova@umuc.edu.


 

 

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