Technology can change the way blind fans experience football thanks to Fieeld, a device which enables them to feel the passion of the sport.
Whether at a stadium or on the television, millions of people around the world love a good football match and watching their idols play. One of these people is Nickollas, a Brazilian boy who is passionate about football. What’s so incredible about Nicko is that his visual impairment has not prevented him from supporting his favourite team, Palmeiras, every week, accompanied by his mother, Silvia Grecco, who gives him a running commentary of the game. She narrates everything that happens on the field and he experiences it with the same passion as any other child.
This story of love, of overcoming obstacles and of a passion for football that Nicko and his mother live every week has been recognised by FIFA, which recently awarded them The Best award for “best football fan”. In an emotional speech, Nickollas's mother defined football as “a sport capable of transforming people's lives”. Thanks to stories like Nicko’s, at Santander we firmly believe in the transformative power of football and its ability to improve people's lives.
Fieeld, feeling and living football with more emotion
Fieeld is the first ever touch-based system for broadcasting recorded sporting events. Blind fans can follow the movement of the ball at all times by way of a pointer moving over the device, according to the information sent by a high-definition camera system set up all over the playing field. The lines of the playing field are embossed on a board, making them easily recognisable when touched. In other words, Fieeld converts the data collected through the movement of the ball, replicates each move and launches this data to a highly touch-sensitive board.
Fieeld was created by NOW (the unit specialising in innovation and creative technology of HAVAS GROUP) which developed this device with us. This initiative forms part of our strategy #FootballCan, where football drives progress and we believe it contributes perfectly to our purpose to help people and businesses prosper – in this case through sport.
Although the project is seeking a technological partner to broaden its development so that real-time action can be followed, as sponsors of other football competitions we want to donate a device to the UEFA Champions League, one to the Copa Libertadores and another to La Liga Santander so that every blind person can try it.
Although right now it is only a device, Fieeld is a clear sign that football can do it all and of our commitment to being a more responsible and inclusive bank.