ON FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY IN STADIA AND FANS INTERACTIONS WITH WISFANS
WISeKey presentation at FIFA Headquarters in Zurich
GENEVA/ZURICH- 28 October 2013 Football clubs today exist in analogue. Go to a stadium and if your phone has reception at half-time, you are lucky. I want to explain where the technology is developing and how stadia will be able to help us in the future.
Clubs know that their stadia and fans are a huge asset. Take Real Madrid, for example: they may have 80 million paying fans but there are another 700 million around the world, in China, India, all over the world. So how can they reach out to these fans? Through technology, and specifically, by turning stadia into media hubs and making fans the terminals to that media hub.
Clubs realise that the technology empowers them: their fans can capture the content around the club: it might be goals from a game, or just seeing a player walk down the street, but if that user-generated content is sent around the world from the club’s platform, rather than from another social media platform, they get the benefit. So clubs want to wrest users from Facebook or Twitter and create an existence and a community that is directly linked to them.
The stadia as hubs need to be centralised as this is where all the media data is aggregated and the identity information is unified. There is no privacy issue: this is not about names or addresses of fans anymore, it’s about digital identity and behaviour – which younger fans have no problem sharing, particularly if it involves not only being part of the club community but also generating content for that club.
We are working with clubs to create Apps that allow fans to follow their club online; they can access stadia via their phones, digitally sign in with their phones and be recognised through their previous behaviour so they can have the fan experience they want.
In Japan’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup, they said they would develop technology enabling them to provide a live international telecast of the event in hologram format, which would allow you to go to a stadium and watch it played out as though it was real.
This can work both ways: as well as going to an empty stadium and watching a holgoram version of a game, clubs or players could play in an empty stadium, fill it up and increase the volume of the fans through an App, and feel like they are playing at Wembley. It’s a mixing of the virtual and the physical in both worlds.
Will our kids mind that they are not watching the real thing? I don’t think so. The new wave of fans are so used to seeing Lionel Messi or Neymar do tricks on computer games that I don’t think they mind if they don’t see the real thing. They are used to 3-D versions and if you have to pay $5,000 for a live game, or $10 for the 3-D version, they will pay the $10. This technology could be ready within five or ten years, as soon as that.