Now, the innovation and creative technology arm of agency Havas Spain, has developed a touch-based sports transmission device named Fieeld, to allow blind people to feel the movements of the ball and trajectories of plays in a football match using their fingertips. Part of a campaign for Santander called Football Can, the technology converts the data gathered by player tracking via cameras covering the football field, and replicates their movements through a mechanism covered by a soft elastic fabric.
Users can follow the match play by play through touch, while listening to live commentary, and therefore experience the game in a more immersive, multi-dimensional way than was previously possible. In a short film demonstrating the device, one of Fieeld’s first user testers says that you “experience [the game], touch it and perceive it just as you’ve imagined it other time, but this time it’s more real”. Another tester explains it as being “closer to reality” than simply imagining what the commentator is describing. Fieeld is also supported by the International Blind Sports Federation.
The device is being promoted with an ad campaign, telling the true story of Nicko, a blind, 12-year-old football fanatic whose mum goes with him to every match and describes what’s happening on the pitch. The campaign will run in Latin America and Europe.
Fieeld is still a prototype but Santander is currently funding its development, and meanwhile putting the four existing devices on display at various locations (to be announced) for users to try out. Jesús Lada, CCO of Havas Spain, says the aim of the Football Can project is to “show how football can effectively achieve anything. Fieeld is the most tangible result of this path we took a year and a half ago now. We believe in the power of football to improve society, and we firmly believe that actions speak louder than words.”
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