The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has given its stamp of approval for a system based on the Select iBall, the world's first intelligent soccer ball that detects when it crosses the goal line and then communicates that information to scorekeepers and referees. FIFA has been testing the iBall for the past few months and approved one final test that could one day end up being used in professional soccer games.
If you were to tear open Select's iBall, you'd find a web of copper wires, which uses induction to communicate with a panel of antennas mounted to the goal frame. As soon as the soccer ball crosses over, it sends a signal to the referee's wristwatch that says, 'Hey, I'm in, go ahead and score the goal.'
"It's challenging work to design an intelligent ball that can withstand Ronaldo's kick and at the same time be able to communicate with a system on the goal line. At Select we have been developing the soccer ball for more than 65 years so we have a solid head start when it comes to ensuring quality in new solutions," said Peter Knap, CEO of Select.
The goal line technology used in Select's iBall could take over the realm of sports as we know it. Back in 2010, the National Football League (NFL) was in discussions
with German manufacturer Cairos Technologies about implanting chips into footballs (the pigskin kind), so there would be little doubt whether or not the ball broke the plane for a touchdown during goal line dives.