The Telstar is back with a 21st century makeover. The iconic 1970 World Cup match ball will return at next summer’s finals in Russia and it will have an embedded NFC microchip
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16,17 (KJV)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Embedded microchips, whether they be NFC or RFID, are popping up just about everywhere you look. They are already inside your smart phones, and now it can interact with your brand new Adidas soccer ball which comes with an embedded chip promising an “enhanced and unique customer experience”. Where will the chip appear next? A better question might be where won’t it appear next.
The innovative technology – which is commonplace in tablets and smartphones for contactless payments – will be implemented for the first time in World Cup history.
The sports company has embedded the NFC (near-field communication) chip into the ball for the first time ever. The idea behind it is that fans will be able to interact with the ball using their smartphones. Adidas says that each ball will generate a unique identifier for unlocking exclusive content
“The new panel structure and inclusion of an NFC chip has taken football innovation and design to a new level and offers both consumers and players a completely new experience,” said adidas category director football hardware, Roland Rommler.
The new ball is reimagined with a traditional look with black panels dominating the design, as it did in Mexico in 1970 to stand out on television screens.
Manchester United and Real Madrid were heavily involved in the testing process too. “The ball went through extensive testing to ensure it suits the needs of the best players in the world,” said an Adidas spokesperson, speaking to Mirror Football.
“Some of the leading national and club sides have been involved in the process including Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Manchester United, Juventus, Real Madrid and Ajax.”
The Telstar ball – available to buy now and modeled by Chelsea and Spain striker Alvaro Morata in the pictures above – will is set to retail at £100.