It’s a World Cup year which means several things: grown men crying like babies; increased absences from work due to ‘illness’; the global economy resurrected through beer sales, and of course ‘The New Ball’.
For each tournament a new football design is mustered (it hardly seems to happen in any other ball sport) that has a new eye-bleeding design, is made of all sorts of technogubbins, and will be the go to excuse for every goalkeeper from here to the Maracanã Stadium.
Yet Adidas has gone a step further this year by adding in HD cameras, which although missing from the actual ‘Brazuca’ match balls, will record a journey around the world on its way to Brazil this summer.
A CAD screen grab of the new Brazuca ball panels
The special ‘Brazucam’ camera ball will be connected to its own Twitter account – @brazuca – allowing fans to experience the world from a whole new angle (ie. rolling along the floor like a certain Portuguese forward).
Featuring six HD cameras that capture 360° views of the action, the product features custom-made image stabilisation software to survive being booted around streets and fields as it makes its way through countries including Spain, Germany, England, Russia, Japan, the USA, Mexico and of course Brazil.
Away from the Brazucam’s cameras, the new Brazuca match ball has a bucket load of new technology and design. A unique symmetry of six identical panels with different surface structures will apparently provide improved grip, touch, stability and aerodynamics on the pitch.
As this video from Adidas’ design offices shows, 3D design tools were at use in every aspect of the design – from some 3D printed prototypes (one looking oddly like a ‘sprung mattress’ interior) to the use of 3D CAD for design and simulation.
Yet we’d love for cameras to be incorporated into the game ball – imagine the insights into the game they could offer, screaming into the back of the net, as well as the opportunities for despondent selfies as Joe Hart picks the ball out of the back of the net.
If you’ve ever wondered how they manufacture the balls, then this handy video from Adidas should reveal that it’s more than just people stitching pig bladders together.