Big Data

How The Internet of Things Enhanced the 2014 The World Cup Experience

By Simmone Seymour • July 21, 2014



Image provided by Gartner

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network connected by devices that can send and receive data. It is different than the internet as we know it, as it is machine-to-machine (M2M) based, meaning objects interact directly with one another without human intervention. For humans this means efficient and automated processes and a redefinition of the relationship between humans and machines. The IoT enables us to accomplish tasks and be more productive without even having to think about it.

The World Cup is a relevant example of how the IoT, by using sensors and machine learning, can be utilized to make life more efficient without human interference. The 2014 games include several now automated processes where humans have been replaced by machines to accomplish tasks. Listed are a few examples:

  • Security Guards: remote controlled iRobot 510 Packbots will switch from the battlefield to the soccer field, where they will be used for additional security and to examine suspect packages.

  • Entrance Turnstiles: the turnstiles are fully automated using high-def cameras to validate tickets more quickly.

  • Player Information: Italian team members were provided with a device (similar in appearance to a credit card) that provided them with access to a database containing a ton of information on the tournament that they needed such as schedules, game strategies and motivational speeches.

  • The Goal: the stadiums are equipped with 14 cameras each with the ability to identify when a goal is made within a 5 millimeter location accuracy. After detection, a radio signal is triggered to send to the referees’ watches, notifying them of a goal, all in under a second (see image above).

  • Monitoring players to ensure peak performance: Brazil team members will drank from Gatorade Smart Bottles. The bottles have wifi connectivity that enables the monitoring of the players’ consumption in real time via an application. After monitoring the players for two years, the Gatorade Sports Science Institute was able to predict the correct individualized Gatorade formula for each player to keep them at peak performance throughout the duration of a game. In addition, Colombian players will sport sensors on their bodies enabling the coaches and training staff to have real-time data about the players performance as well as the physiological toll endured from playing. Both technologies will enhance the ability to meet players’ needs more quickly so that they can play at peak performance.

Outside of these prominent innovations, there will also be  millions of people snapping pictures and sending other cup-related content  to social networks, as well as other people around the world. The World Cup is a real example of how the proliferation of mobile, sensors, and predictive analysis has enabled the Internet of Things to expand rapidly, opening up possibilities for further development in the future.

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