(SportTechie)– The 2018 World Cup in Russia will feature a new, innovative match ball. On Thursday, Adidas Soccer revealed the Telstar 18, a reimagining of the original Telstar ball used at the tournament back in 1970.
It will be the most tech-savvy ball in history with an NFC microchip embedded inside. The chip will allow consumers to interact directly with the ball using their smartphones. Each ball generates a unique identifier, unlocking exclusive content and information for the user about the details of each ball and providing access to challenges that users can enter before the World Cup.
“For the first time ever we have an NFC chip in a ball which can perfectly interact with a consumer,” described Roland Rommler, Category Director Football Hardware, in a statement. “So if you tap your phone on the ball you will unlock a consumer experience with it and this is something we thought that makes it very unique and iconic in comparison to older balls.”
Said Rommler about the ball, “the new panel structure and inclusion of an NFC chip has taken soccer innovation and design to a new level and offers both consumers and players a completely new experience.”
Involved in the testing process of the new balls were teams like Manchester United, Real Madrid and Colombia, among others.