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AI-assisted video streaming drones to support on-pitch sporting referees by 2021

Technological advancements including AR/VR and AI predicted to significantly help ensure correct decisions are made, plus enhance fan entertainment and even participation

Betting company Coral has today unveiled its ‘future of technology in sport’ report, looking at how technology is set to transform the sporting world in the future.

Football has seen a lot of change over the last decade when it comes to technology in sport. From goal line technology to VAR (video assistant referees), the way rules are observed and kept in football has been altered significantly. VAR may have seemed like a big leap in technology when it was introduced with some controversy in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but the future is set to make decisions even easier for referees.

According to futurologist, Dr. Ian Pearson, by 2022 football drone AI assistants will be supporting referees pitch-side to get video clippings from any angle, and they will link directly to what a referee is looking at during the game. So, next time a player from your team takes a nasty tackle, a yellow or red card should be far more likely for the opponent. You’ll then be able to work out which teams and players you should be backing throughout the season.

What’s more, by 2035 we’ll be used to seeing AR Stadiums with pro overlays for school or village matches. On a Sunday, we’ll see stadiums on village greens full with adoring fans and overlay professional player’s images onto the other players on the green. So, when you’re going to watch your son or daughter play, you’ll be able to watch the future stars of sport overlayed on your own future star.

Ball games such as the NFL and rugby will make good use of AI in training, simulating likely strategies of competitors to help managers decide on the best team and best plays. On the field, novel shock absorbing materials will allow even rougher play while lowering the risk of serious injuries.

Futurologist Dr.Ian Pearson comments: “Technology will have wide-ranging impacts on sports over the next few decades. In football, we’ll see short-term changes such as referees having access to drone video with AI alerting them to any suspicious play.”