We are in the middle of a football world cup which will go down in history as the most hi-tech and interactive yet. From goal-line technology – where a vibration to the referee's watch and the word "GOAL" appears on his screen, all in less than a second when the ball crosses the goal line - to more than 224 high-definition (HD) cameras deployed to capture more than 2,500 hours of sport during the tournament in the ultra-high-definition (UHD) 4K format, which is roughly four times the resolution of current HD TV – Brazil 2014 is an exploration into the decision-making process through the analysis of experts in Cognitive Science, Information Technology, Big Data, Management, Economics and Psychology.
The world eventually has begun witnessing the phenomena of technology connected with sports and celebration of the amalgamation thus began in Brazil in the year 2014!
In fact, this simultaneous real-time in-match computing technology is not just helping spread fair play; it is also minimising risks of illegal betting as mobile betting is likely to take more money than traditional bookies for the first time.
From health data to gauge risks in player investment, the world of sport is being driven by the technology to make more decision and the process of decision-making transparent.
The world's leading data-mining centre for football, the Switzerland-based CIES Football Observatory, released a 'World Cup Scenario' before the tournament began with complete prediction for the entire tournament—from the last 16; the quarter-final, semi-final and final match-ups; the third and fourth-placed teams, and the eventual winner. Their predictions went haywire, but the "econometric" methodology, will be used as software whiz kids works to improve it.
Imagine what football could look if Silicon Valley gets its big data hands on the game. What data-driven football could look like in less than half a decade? It will present a different parallel world, a world where sport itself, and the culture of the fans who love it, is altered by the rush of data, quantification, analytics and digital delivery, where a high-stakes match of the near future be like when every move is measured, and every tactic forecast by silicon.
In preparation for this year's World Cup, the German Football Association (DFG) introduced a match Insights software into its training program. Match Insights can be used by coaches and players before and after matches to analyze data points, and thus enhance performance. In just 10 minutes, 10 players can produce over 7 million data points. Germany, which was a tough team in 2006 and 2010, has only gotten better this time around. Doesn’t this explain their win over Brazil?
The invaluable technology of in-match computing has started revolutionizing the world of sports. Today, Germany knows what a lot of other teams do not, and this is no doubt a precious piece of information that helps upgrade a team’s performance. In other words, the combination of technology with sports has not only brought up creativity, but has also opened windows on skills enhancements and improvements.
Innovations lined up also envision agents "doping" their player's performance forecast data to give them a statistical edge in contract negotiations. Under data doping, mediocre players find their stock rise through the efforts of their agents. Agents already go to exceptional lengths to sell their players, why not bring data into the process for that extra edge?
And in the future of soccer, in-match computing is expected to even prevent match-fixing!
Big data, cloud, emerging markets, mobile technology, networking, IT security, storage, sustainable IT and virtualization – these are not just words to be used in Silicon Valleys anymore, because Brazil 2014 has set a trend where it will pan out to each and every popular sport to make it better and more interactive, brining in newer revenue models on multi-media platforms
And with FIFA, Tech Mahindra has already redefined the use of this technology with ground-breaking and visionary IT solutions and services for the beautiful game to reach out to the maximum audience since 2010.
Tech Mahindra helped manage more than $1 billion in assets (such as cell phones, flat-screen TVs, laptops and other expensive equipment used in the World Cup), and co-ordinate and transport more than 230,000 staff, volunteers and delegates from over 40 countries - including 10,000 daily trips in a fleet of 1,000 cars, buses, trucks and vans. It enabled electronic ticket sales and accreditation for the event watched by 2.4 billion people across over 214 countries.
The company's applications for the tournament cover systems for accreditation, space and material management, transportation, volunteer management, infrastructure, intranet and extranet at the venues, apart from helpdesk services. The first Indian company to be associated with the world's biggest sporting events – the 2010 FIFA World Cup – Tech Mahindra managed some mind-boggling statistic: $1 billion worth of technology assets, 1 million-odd hours of development work, 3 million tickets, 250,000 accreditations, 130,000 volunteers, 1,000 vehicles, 64 matches, 10 stadia in South Africa, we are seamlessly integrating IT systems for the world to enjoy the game.