High-tech football designed to help players track and improve their playing style
Adidas has unveiled the Smart Ball, which it claims will help football players improve their technique, power, spin, and accuracy.
The Smart Ball is loaded with a number of sensors, including an accelerometer and a magnetometer. Together they measure the forces on the ball during its flight.
The ball is the result of three years research by a team of engineers, designers and applied physics researchers, Adidas said.
According to Adidas, the sensors track the movement of the ball and feeds the information to a mobile phone via Bluetooth.
Adidas' goal with the ball is to help players improve their game. To achieve this, the company designed the smart ball app around four sections; Kick It, Get Better, Challenges and Record Book. It is currently only available for iOS.
Kick is an open mode where the app will analyse kicks for the speed, bend, impact location and trajectory.
Get better, according to Adidas "focuses on improving the kicking skills of the user from basic ball handling skills to advanced bend and no spin kicks. After each kick the app analyses the kick and provides feedback to the user."
The challenges section is designed to get the player to test the player's ability. It is split into three challenges: Power, Free Kick and Pro.
The first two focus on the technical ability of the player. The Pro challenge is designed to help players match the trajectory and speed of a kick of a professional player.
Finally, Record Book saves the ten best kicks of each day and any kick that has been saved by the player. The idea behind this, according to Adidas, is to highlight improvements by the player.
The ball is set for release in 2014. However, football fans will have the chance to test it out this weekend at the Adidas Labs event.
The event focused on innovation in football, and is taking place this weekend at Victoria House, London from today (May 24th) till the 27th.
The Adidas Lab will give football fans the chance to see and test new technology from the sports company, including its new Smart Ball and miCoach Elite Team System. The company is also offering fans the first chance to glimpse the new 630g kit and 99g boot.
Fans attending the event will have access to what Adidas is referring to as 'The Track'.
According to the company, The Track is a high-tech 15m Astroturf track that will allow Adidas to show how its new technologies can help coaches get the most out of football players.
Everything from speed, work rate and skill are measured in real time across three challenges. As fans challenge themselves on The Track, their movement and vital stats will be measured by the system and results displayed, according to Adidas.
"The 'adidas lab' is a fantastic opportunity for us to show fans the innovation, imagination and technological expertise that adidas consistently delivers at the cutting edge of football," commented Herbert Hainer, chief executive of Adidas.
"Our pursuit of innovation is also a key success factor for our group. It ensures that we continue to strengthen our market position in the global sporting goods industry."
The event was launched by footballing legend Zinedine Zidane. Speaking at the launch, he said: "I have been working with adidas for 17 years and throughout my career I have always known they have been leading the way when it comes to innovation in football.
"The adidas lab shows how the brand is shaping the future of football and is a great chance for fans to see it with their own eyes."
Earlier this week, Adidas unveiled its new Nitrocharge Football Boots.