Sound of Football

PROJECT NAME

Sound of Football

CLIENT

Pepsi

ROLE

Creative / Product Designer

CATEGORY

Technology & Strategy

PRESS

Fast Company
Wired Magazine
Engadget
Huffington Post
Business Insider

 

CHALLENGE

Create something with the TracAB technology to launch Pepsi Refresh in Sweden. 

SUMMARY

After a lot of research and ideation, we wanted to challange ourselves to use the Tracab technology for something great. As a result, we created a tool that made visually impared athletes able to play football(US soccer) using a smartphone, 3d sound and the TracAB technology.

The project was created together with my former creative partner Daniel Dominguez Wetter contracted by Society 46 & Åkestam Holst for Pepsi. Then a lot of people was involved in the production. Thanks to everyone for making this project great ( especially Ellen Sundh who worked on the tech ). For a full breakdown of the project scroll down.


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Breakdown #1:The idea

After doing a lot of research around how TracABs military tracking can be utilized, we decided with consideration of the budget (~$6000) and timing, that we would use the original placement for the TracAB technology that was mounted inside the soccer stadium. Then we presented three very different ideas to our client to see where their head was at (images below from the first presentation deck in 2011).

#1 FOOTBALL IN-SIGHT

We came across a story about a visually impaired soccer world cup that showcased how it had been going on in Brazil since the 1980s. Knowing what we knew about TracAB - could we create a tool that could help these players and other visually impared athletes while revolutionizing the sport?

#2 THE ART OF THE GAME

We imagined the football stadium as a living art canvas, with each player’s movement to a brush stroke. Could we create live art for the fans and bring something different to the game of football?

 

#3 GAME STATS LIVE

The existing use of TracAB was to track players and get stats. We wanted to see if you could use these stats to figure out how each player should be playing in real time. The offense or defense, dribble, pass, etc.)



 

Breakdown #1a:Choosing the right idea

Both us and the client were most excited about the first idea; Create a tool that aided visually impared athletes and hopefully revolutionize the game of football - Now it was time to dive deeper into the technology. With our research we knew that we could make it work, but now we had to prove we could make it work within the given budget. The biggest challange was how to create a great 3d landscape. But we knew others had done it with binaural recordings. Like the 3d barber shop. Now we just needed a way to get the Tracab data put together with to create a functional 3d soundscape...

Breakdown #2:The technology

We wanted to create a way for the military tracking system to give out coordinates that then sent back data in order to create a vast sound landscape. Easy right? Not so much. We realized that 3D sound headphones would be expensive and not really give us what we looked for. We also realized another problem— the TracAB did not show where you were looking, only where one were going and we needed a way to recieve the data from the Tracab system to the individual players. The solution— the iPhone. The iPhone 4 had a built in accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass, making it possible to show what way the user was facing and where they were heading. Ellen Sundh, Creative Technologist, built an iPhone app together with the TracAB team; she figured out the API and how to quickly get the data to and from the players with sending out different sounds.

Breakdown #2a: How does it work? 

So, how does it work? As described above, we decided to use an iPhone 4 because of it's motion sensors and ability to collect data from the current API built by TracAB. Here is a quick breakdown how everything functioned.

GYROSCOPE + ACCELEROMETER + COMPASS :

A gyroscope is a tiny device that senses motion through moving, microscopic elements that use Earth's gravity to determine oreientation and motion on a precise and miniature scale. THe accelerometer gives you the acceleration of the device and the compass shows where the device is located. Put them together and we get a very good 6 axis motions sensor. 

 

3D SOUND + FMOD :
3D Sound is something everybody hears. The challenge was to create a 3D  landscape from objects that do not make sounds like a wall, a goal, or a ball. Ellen created 10 different "dummy head" recording profiles using Binaural recording to emulate the landscape and then used
 FMOD which is a gaming calibration software to help calibrate and test the 3D sound landscape. Since we knew the area of our pitch, we could now use TracABs own simulator to determine how loud the sound would be in regards to the player. 

DEALING WITH THE DATAFLOW :
We had a lot of data- the TrackAB data and the players/iPhone app data- that was then converted into the soundscape. When dealing with a lot of data that’s going back and forth over a network, you usually need to establish connection and handshaking protocols. Luckily there is UDP, or The User Datagram Protocol, which bypass this making everything flow a lot faster. 

Below is a video of Technologist Ellen Sundh describing the different steps. 

 

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