Siine, a European tech startup, is introducing technology to the rote business of refereeing a soccer match. With an app called “Referee Pro”, officials can track every event and decision within a game. The app even has built-in yellow and red cards, meaning the day might come when a player is booked with an iPhone. The app makes it professional debut in Mexico tonight at a Cup final in the Mexican Indoor Football League.
As the referee inputs events, the app automatically notes the time. This makes for easily uploadable match reports, as well as real-time tracking of decisions through the web or social media. Not sure what the referee is calling? Based on the icon he presses, we might conceivably be able to see that information as the game is going on. Tonight’s Mexican indoor match will use that functionality to keep fans informed of the referee’s actions while the game is in-process.
Referee Pro was developed with the aid of top referees to comply with official FIFA guidelines, and was produced in partnership with Siine, (a London/Barcelona startup backed by Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom) and Mexican football professionals
Top athletes are increasingly turning to technology as they strive to stay ahead of the game. From iOS-connected football boots, to data-driven tennis racquets, we’re seeing a real shift towards digitally-enhanced sportspeople, but the refereeing aspect of the beautiful game is often criticized for not embracing technological advances.
So, this is a significant development. Kicking thing off in Mexico will likely garner interest from other regions, and Siine tell us that there ARE immediate plans to work with referee organizations in the US, UK, and Spain, with a view towards rolling out the technology there.
I’m slightly skeptical this could work on a big stage, and as The Next Web suggests, cards on a smartphone aren’t exactly visible to everyone.
via The Next Web