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FIFA Creates Tech Incubator Program

By

Joe Lemire

Soccer’s governing body has undertaken new initiatives to welcome technology into the sport with the launch of the FIFA Innovation Programme and the designation of Kinexon as its first preferred provider of live player tracking.

FIFA’s Innovation Program is structured as a de facto product incubator, helping companies develop promising prototypes to reach global standards. Each project is given a two-year timetable to reach its objective and must be sponsored by an association, competition or pro club.

The three inaugural members are Vivaturf, which has created an artificial turf without polymeric infill; PlayerMaker, the first footworn electronic performance and tracking system; and Vieww, a new goal-line technology system.

FIFA’s Preferred Provider program seeks to explore best practices for the distribution of live tracking data for both clubs and players to improve performance and maintain fitness (as well as to engage fan audiences).

Kinexon has worked with more than 400 sports clients and uses both satellite-based and ultra-wideband tracking technologies. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, leagues such as the NFL, NBA, and MLB have implemented Kinexon’s SafeTag device for contact tracing purposes among players and staff.