Hosting the World Cup means droves of fans and ensures four years of bragging rights. But how far will a nation go to secure the bid?
The Japanese showed just how far by promising decision makers future technology to tip the scales in the nation’s favor for home of the 2022 World Cup.
Perhaps inspired by Star Wars, the Japanese are fighting for the bid by depicting a World Cup where the game is broadcast in 3D with sweaty holographic players running up and down the field.
Tokyo showed a game filmed by 200 high definition cameras using “freeviewpoint” technology that will allow fans to watch the action from a player’s point of view.
Kind of like a video game. Oh, yes, and did I mention this will happen in 3D?
The Japanese are further pulling from the video game point of view model by tapping into the multi-player mindset with in-ear computerized translators so they can talk freely with fans from other countries.
Trash talking will undoubtedly be brought to a whole new level.
“We think that now it’s time to give something back to the world, and our starting point is to deliver the joy of football not only to the hosting country but all over the world,” says Suminori Gokoh, director of the 2022 bid committee.
The question that remains is whether the Japanese can indeed deliver on these lofty promises and whether or not they will actually enhance the game.
Decision makers remain skeptical mostly because the Japanese have provided such limited information and how they will achieve these goals and whether or not it’s actually doable.
“The ‘freeviewpoint’ is definitely going to be feasible, there’s a lot of work being done on that,” said Phil Surman, a scientist working on 3D television projects at Britain’s De Montfort University in Leicester. “But the rest is rather speculative.”
“The rest” refers to both the 3D broadcast and the in-ear communications. Scientists agree that 3D broadcasts that don’t require special glasses are indeed feasible, in which a viewer will move along with the movement of the game, watching it from the player’s perspective.
Technologists agree that broadcasting this kind of game on a large scale is a bit tricky because it may induce nausea.
With a 3D display, John Watson, a 3D television expert at Aberdeen University said, “There has to be head tracking, so if you move your head the images has to move with you and you’re not going to keep your head in position during a football match – you’re going to jump up and down, particularly if your home team scores.
“[Of course], there’s also an obstacle with nausea, some people looking at these autostereoscopic displays can become disorientated, there are human factors like that which have to be taken into account.”
Will promises of this future tech sway decision makers towards Japan for the 2022 bid? Only time will tell.
Realistically, it seems like this type of technology may be a reality come 2022, but the question that remains is, are we ready for that?
Do we want to broadcast 3D sports matches on a widespread scale?
Needless to say, researchers and sports enthusiasts will experience with such broadcasts before it’s available to the masses and for major sports games like the World Cup 2022.