Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 2, 2011 03:02 PM
If you can’t see, is it possible to join the billions of people worldwide who play soccer out on the field of play? Well, the Pepsi Refresh Project just made it possible for a group of young men in Sweden.
Launched in 2010 as a public affairs platform, and a social media alternative to Super Bowl advertising, the Pepsi Refresh platform's mission is to donate $20 milion in grants to people and organizations that are making the world a better place. It's certainly making good on its promise to be a world-changing brand. Witness The Sound of Football, a Pepsi Refresh-funded project to help visually impaired athletes get out on the field and play.
The first test of the technology showed the huge potential for the technology. As the partners involved in the research project note, "As a first test, we arranged a football (aka soccer) match between a team of visually impaired players and a team of former professional footballers. We wanted to see how they would perform under equal conditions — in a match where no one can see."
Engadget reports that Pepsi’s money helped Tracab (which develops image tracking systems) and Swedish agency Society 46 create the innovative technology, which allows players to “hear” where the ball, other players, and the goal is during play. Each object was assigned sounds and each player wore an iPhone and headsets. Sixteen cameras were focused over the entire length of the field so every player’s movement was tracked in real time and heard over the headsets.
One thing that is nice about the game footage is that the Pepsi logo isn’t noticeably hanging anywhere. This is about a whole lot more than boosting cola sales, and about corporate citizenship and giving back.
As Popsop notes, the goal now is to figure out ways to apply this technology in other situations, sports-related or not. It could end up being a big breakthrough for the viually impaired, all thanks to Pepsi Refresh. Find out more at The Sound of Football project website and Facebook page, and in the videos below.