Memories of long past FIFA World Cup™ tournaments are part of the fabric of modern culture. The penalties missed, the spectacular volleys, the one man wonder goal that became legendary. For most of the history of the FIFA World Cup™ those memories were shared globally via radio, newspapers and television. But since the mid-90s the inexorable rise of the Internet has meant that more and more avenues for capturing, sharing, and reacting to our heroes’ on field exploits have opened up. Qatar 2022™ is taking advantage of this technology like never before in order to make the fan experience in and around the stadiums as rich and immersive as possible as well as using technology to improve the in stadium experience in terms of comfort and efficiency.
Many of these innovations have come from Challenge 22. Introduced by the Supreme Committee of Delivery & Legacy (SC) in 2015 as an innovation award, it challenges the creative and technological minds to find solutions that meet challenges and enhance experience.
Take for example the Qatar Mobility Innovations Center (QMIC) which has employed their Internet-of-Things platform to connect a series of smart sensors around Qatar’s capital city that will make it easier for fans to plan the best route using real-time information about traffic, taxis, the new metro system and even venue entrances and exits. Visitors will be able to download a custom smartphone app built by QMIC, also based at the Qatar Science and Technology Park, which will use this real-time information to make their journey to stadiums easier. This takes the stress out of planning and embarking on complex journeys from hotels to the various match venues and combined with Qatar’s ultra-compact venue layout will make getting around from game to game a breeze.
Qatar has already turned convention on its head by offering the first winter FIFA World Cup™ in order to ensure playing conditions are at their best for the tournament. But Qatar has gone much further than that by designing and installing smart air conditioning for the pitches and seating. The ingenious design ensures that no unpopulated sections of the stadium are cooled and the technology is mostly powered by solar ensuring that the energy used to climate control the playing and watching experience is as sustainable as possible.
Other fantastic innovations include Bonocle, a state-of-the-art assistive technology that helps visually impaired fans access digital content that will bring the matches to life in real time. Then there is the newly developed chatbot, Eila, which will allow attendees to order food, drinks or even merchandise right to their seats so nobody need miss a minute of the on-field action.
Or the driver-friendly update service that ensures keeping up with your team’s progress while at the wheel is both safe and exciting!
Then there is the development of a smart football shirt which wirelessly tracks the ECG signals of players’ hearts in real time which, when rolled out globally, would help detect any abnormalities and predict heart attacks or other cardiac issues, thus potentially helping save thousands of lives.
All this and more combined with ultra-fast broadband connectivity and a plethora of ways to watch the game from innovative bigscreen technology to mobile phone based replay, commentary, saving and sharing options will ensure this FIFA World Cup™ is right at the cutting edge of smart-tech solutions.
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