Sports technology continues to innovate, offering the A-League a chance to improve across various parts of the game.
Various reports suggest the sports technology industry could be worth US$31.1 billion by 2024.
And as we've seen with the K-League and other competitions, embracing AI and other sports technology can be key for the growth of clubs and leagues.
How can the A-League take advantage over this crucial next few years?
Here are some sports technology products and services that could boost your club both in the future and for when the A-League returns this July/August. Starting with a handy idea in these COVID-19-safe times.
Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and Chelsea are said to be using the new social distancing feature by Catapult, with STATSports’ version soon to market.
Are there A-League clubs looking for this type of sports technology for when training resumes?
And for player management, a company called Sparta Science has developed a 90-second scan that identifies how a player moves.
Those who also point to VAR as a sports technology, AI is improving the decision-making process around offsides.
If you've been frustrated by decisions made based on the video, according to FIFA, its semi-automated offside system now synergizes limb tracking with AI.
Rather than using one point per player, this system follows between 15 and 20 points per player to give a more accurate reading of where the player’s body is in relation to the offside line.
If fans aren’t allowed into stadia while COVID-19 measures remain, could you still be heard or seen?
In La Liga, virtualized broadcasting means the stands will be virtualized with to-scale images of seated fans wearing the colors of the home club.
La Liga has collaborated with Norwegian company VIZRT, which also works with other European leagues.
This will also feature virtual sound thanks to its collaboration with EA SPORTS FIFA.
However, for the real fan sounds, in Japan, a remote cheering app is in beta, designed to help boost the atmosphere from actual fans.
This sports technology system by Yamaha allows fans following the match on TV, radio, or online to make their feelings known via their smartphones, their voices reverberating around the stadium in realtime via loudspeakers.
With 5G, we're seeing new stadia around the world incorporating digital infrastructure with design.
EPL club Spurs' new stadium is a good example. The stadium includes HPE Aruba technology with over 1600 Wi-Fi Access Points.
And with COVID-19 in mind, A-League clubs could look to Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt.
The German outfit has given its game-day staff radio-based wearable technology from Kinexon, called the SafeZone wristband, meaning essential employees are able to proper social distance while working at venues.
The club used this useful sports technology on May 16 against Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Additionally, when the A-League returns, managing match-day staff (including the many volunteers on A-League game days) remains a challenge.
But with new technology platforms such as rosterfy.com, event managers can track and manage large groups of staff and volunteers.
In Japan, a facial recognition system developed by NEC is planned to be used for identification and authentication at stadium entrance points. It was planned for Tokyo 2020.
Still in the Land of the Rising Sun, Tokyo Police are working with Panasonic on a new crowd forecasting program that has applications for crowd management.
Technically this is not sports technology, however, cameras on police cars will upload human flow data to the cloud for calculation and analysis to predict the dynamics of future crowd movement.
The real-time prediction system can also detect suspicious situations such as retrograde motion, suspicious objects placed among crowds, or vehicles traveling in restricted areas.
The system will flag unnatural or suspicious activities as possible indications of terrorism, with the security services notified.
The automation of content delivery is already happening around the world.
The AI technology is designed to take more routine tasks off humans so they can focus on the more creative tasks for when football is being played live and digital platforms require content fast.
WSC through its partnership with the K-League, for example, can tap into their AI platform to automatically create short-form videos in real-time that are easily shared across all digital platforms.
For clubs and competitions like the A-League, this means software like this with AI algorithms can be utilized by A-League editors, media managers, and producers to post relevant video clips across social networks in bulk and much quicker.