Smart Soccer Balls
Unlike the other sports, soccer was staying away from the technology for a long time. FIFA (Federation Internationale De Football Association) together with IFAB (International Football Association Board) as two most important entities regarding soccer were against cutting edge tech ideas that could help referees to make the right decisions. The former president of FIFA Sepp Blatter at any press conference was constantly repeating how soccer has a human touch, and that everybody involved in soccer are human beings and people make mistakes. It was like that until 2010 World Cup when Frank Lampard who played for England scored but the goal was dissalowed because the referees didn’t see the ball crossing the goal line, and the result was millions of angry soccer fans. After the incident, Sepp Blatter gave a green light for testing two big technology projects GLT ( Goal Line Technology) and VAR ( Video Assistant Referee). For more about these two technology projects nowadays inevitable parts of the professional games, you can read my article The Benefits of Goal Line Technology and Video Assistant Referee.
Just like the majority of the soccer lovers/fans who wanted technology to take its part in soccer, the soccer ball manufacturers wanted the same goal and thanks to their efforts now we have great smart soccer balls who are taking the soccer training to the next level. Everybody loves them!
Adidas MiCoach Smart Soccer Ball
Adidas took the first step into manufacturing smart soccer ball and it really nailed it. They developed the MiCoach Smart Soccer Ball with a great modern design and with technology that revolutionizes the way soccer players will train. Adidas MiCoach is basically a bluetooth smart ball with an app-enabled system that you can sync your phone/tablet to. In the center of the ball, it has a sensor that helps you when you’re connected to the app to measure/give feedback on power, spin, strike, and trajectory so that you can develop the ability to control, strike and manipulate the soccer ball. For you to feel the technology you need to download the free app from Adidas called MiCoach Smart Ball App and pair it with your device(phone or tablet). The app is super easy to use you only need to point the app towards the ball when you hit it and it will display an array of important data that you can use to impove your soccer abbilities. How otherwise would you know if you have improved your shot speed or curve? Without the data from the app, there is no certain way that you’ll be sure that you’re improving. But that’s not all that this app can do for you. There are training chalenges provided by the app where you have to accomplish one training section so you can able to move to the next one, they are tutorials provided for the training sections and there’s a record option so you can save your progress. If you have a friend/family who loves soccer there’s no better gift out there for them.
BEND-IT Smart Soccer Ball
Ilan Keet the CEO of BEND-IT has started the company from his love towards soccer as a kid, while he was watching David Beckham videos on a daily basis, dreaming one day to be able to bend-it into the net just like him. After years and years of trying with his father, he finnaly developed ball technology to help players improve their kicking technique. The BEND-IT smart soccer ball is using the same high-quality material for manufacturing the ball just like the balls used in professional soccer matches but they are much cheaper plus they’re offering the benefits of their patented VPM and VRC technology. The VPM (Valve Position Marker) technology is developed for you to maximize kicking power when you’re taking free kicks, corners or penalties. When you’re kicking the ball it’s really important to kick the hardest part of the ball also known as “valve”. Well, the VPM technology shows you exactly which part of the ball you need to kick it. The VRC ( Visual Response Color) technology is created to help you see how ball bends or rotate in the air, by using whirpool designs on the ball. With these designs, you’ll be able to see with your own eyes how your kicking is improving.
The moto of the company is “ If you want to start kicking like a pro you need to start practicing with professional-quality soccer balls”
BEND-IT have manufactured 3 different whirpool designs: Curl-It Pro, Reverse-Curl-It Pro, and Knuckle-It Pro.
Here are some variations of Curl-It Pro designs created after David Beckham the player who taught the world how to bend-it.
Here are two variations of Reverse-Curl-It Pro designs created after Roberto Carlos and his famous reverse-curler free kick against France in 1997.
Created after Cristiano Ronaldo, the player who brought the knuckle-balling technique to soccer BEND-IT have created this two variations of Knuckle-It Pro whirpool designs.
DribbleUp Smart Soccer Ball
Even though this is still is a Kickstarter project/campaign it will become a mass production in no time. How am I so sure aboit it? Because I can only imagine how hard is to develop smart soccer ball and app combo to help you achieve greater soccer results. Also, I’m sure because DribbleUp is created by two brothers Eric and Marc Forkosh who have already made a success with a similar basketball.
The ball is made of synthetic leather with butyl bladder and integrated sensors in the center(link) and in general, has the same qualities as the match official ball.
How does it work?
You need to download a free app created by DribbleUp, sync your phone to it, and then direct your phone camera towards the ball so that the app can “lock” the position of the ball. TIP: Your phone could be connected to the TV for a better experience. This is a first smart soccer ball with augmented reality. Basically, you take a step back from your phone/tv and follow different training drills in real time by following audio and video cues and getting feedback at the end. Sounds fun right? How you progress with the training drills they’ll become harder and harder making you a better player. If it rains outside you can still do your practice inside by using your tv.
This ball does not use any batteries and it’s cheaper than official match balls so make the smart choice and order one for your friend who loves soccer.