Soccer fans are being invited onto the pitch with the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger, David Villa and Xavi Hernandes. Adidas’s "Brazucam" soccer ball brings a ball’s eye view of a kick around with some of the game’s stars on the run-up to the Brazil World Cup. The state-of-the-art technology gives viewers a movie-style panoramic view of the pitch and players during its tour of competing nations such as Spain, Germany and England. Hans-Peter Nuernberg — the brand’s Senior Development Engineer — tells Metro how the ball and its Twitter handle (@brazuca) is providing a whole new perspective of the beautiful game.
The ball with a camera inside sounds pretty futuristic. Are there plans to introduce 'Brazucam' technology into the actual game?
It would cause some pretty painful injuries. The Brazucam ball is very heavy in its current form due to the cameras enclosed inside, so if you were to head the ball you would certainly know about it! So at the moment there are no plans to introduce the technology into a real match setting.
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Ouch! Will it change the way we watch the game?
It’s already changing the way fans experience football. It’s down to the unique “ball’s eye” view on the training sessions of teams like Germany, Spain and Japan and their preparations for the FIFA World Cup. Also the @brazuca Twitter account is bringing the game closer to fans by going behind the scenes of tournaments and events ahead of the World Cup.
How does the Brazuca match ball differ from past official match balls? Will we be seeing more goals?
Well, we can’t promise more goals; obviously that will come down to the attacking abilities of the side involved. Actually, the Brazuca is our most tested ball ever: It went through two and a half years of testing in 10 countries across three continents involving both Spanish goalkeepers Iker Casillas and Pepe Reina and Germany’s Manuel Neuer.
How far can "smartball" technology be taken?
At this stage "smartball" technology is purely an innovation — match balls have to meet strict guidelines and standard. But we are of course continuing to expand our testing to some of our partner professional teams.