By Yijing Shen, Contributing Writer
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off in Russia on June 14, and it will be finished with the final match on July 15. This year’s World Cup is the 21st FIFA World Cup, and the FIFA has already launched many technological surprises for the players and fans. Here are five things you should know about the World Cup in Russia!
5. VAR helps keep the game fair
FIFA President Gianni Infantino announced they would for the first time use the VAR system, which stands for Video Assistant Referee, to make the game more transparent and fairer. Technology supported by SONY, the system offers clearer pictures and different camera angles to assist the referee to make an accurate penalty.
For a decision made on the pitch to be overturned, it must be a “clear error.” The VAR judges, which is a team consisting of a video assistant referee, his assistant and a replay operator, can notify the main referee a potential error while reviewing the decision.
4. Telstar 18: the official ball
Designed by Adidas, Telstar 18 has been launched to be the official ball for this year’s World Cup. The Telstar 18 has six panels with black-and-white debris pattern, which was inspired by Russian cityscapes. It is also equipped with an electronic NFC chip that allows fans and players to unlock exclusive content by activating a special identifier via a smartphone.
Another fun fact about the Telstar 18 is that it has been taken to the outer space and has been played by two Russian cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station.
3. NASA goes to the World Cup
Adidas released an adizero 99g boot that cooperated with NASA. It is probably the lightest boot you can find on the market – it’s also limited edition. Only 299 pairs would be sold, and they are all size 8.5. With the appearance of its concept in 2013, Adidas has gone through more than 50 different materials through testing. They finally picked a super thin material as the base then added a special coated film on top, which not only makes the sneaker super thin, but also durable.
It has been reported that Argentina national team’s player Lionel Messi has confirmed that he will put on this advanced sneaker in this World Cup.
2. 360-degree Virtual Reality Experience
FIFA has enhanced the digital experience by allowing fans to stream the all the matches live from an mobile app in Virtual Reality (VR). British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Sports provides VR live broadcast services through a special developed BBC Sport VR-FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 application, which supports multiple VR platforms and devices, such as Apple, Android, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Go, and PlayStation VR, to give viewers a 360-degree video-on-demand experience.
The new technology will make the viewers feel like they were in the stadium.
Believe it or not, all spectators who possess a Fan ID and game ticket can travel throughout Russia during the World Cup without a Russian visa. Also, Fan ID and ticket holders can enjoy free public transportation in and between the host cities on match days.
The tickets’ ultra-high security design is the biggest highlight, which includes a barcode positioned on the right hand side and a hologram next to the sector map.
“Every ticket is personalized, meaning that the name of the ticket holder will be printed on it,” the FIFA said in Russian News Agency’s news. “Provided the persons entering the stadium have a valid ticket and their Fan ID and have been duly registered by the ticket purchaser (at the official FIFA website web source), access to the stadium will be granted.”
Photo Credit: Adidas, FIFA