Football’s governing body FIFA has approved a new goal-line technology based on a ‘smart’ football, the Select iBall, that can indicate it has crossed a goal line.
Select’s iBall is the ball in the GoalRef system that FIFA has tested the past few months. It has now been approved for a final test so the system can one day be used during professional football matches.
The Select iBall works through an internal web of copper wire, which uses induction to communicate with a panel of antennas mounted to the goal frame. The same second the entire ball has passed the goal line, the system sends a signal to the referee’s wristwatch, and the referee can instantly call it as a 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.
FIFA’s approval of Select iBall marks the first time an intelligent ball has received recognition from FIFA.
While Danish company Select is the Select iBall’s manufacturer, the complete GoalRef system has been developed in partnership with the German company Fraunhofer IIS, part of the application-oriented research organisation The Fraunhofer Society.
Project leader Ingmar Bretz from Fraunhofer IIS said, “For us to achieve this, having a reliable partner like Select has been essential. Select has years of development experience from the history of GoalRef and their know-how within ball production has been vital for our success.”
A look inside the Select iBall