The 2022 World Cup in Qatar has already proven a headline-grabbing event, with off-field controversies and on-field upsets attracting attention from all around the world. Politics and athletics aside, however, Qatar 2022 has also seen the debut of numerous game-changing technologies. These include a digitized ball, capable of reporting on its locations 500 times every second and offering valuable insights into gameplay, as well as advanced stadium air conditioning systems, to name just a few of the concepts making their debuts during Qatar 2022.
Computer vision technology has been prevalent throughout Qatar 2022’s action, offering referees a closer look at the field to help make better offsides calls.  Look no further than the soccer balls being used for game play. Location sensors included in game balls work in concert with cameras located throughout the stadiums. Powered by machine learning algorithms, the balls track player movement via 29 keypoints and provide automated alerts when players commit offsides violations. Within seconds, officials can validate calls and recommence the on-field action. Though it probably won’t satisfy a stadium filled with unhappy fans, the ball- and player-tracking system also presents animated recreations of plays to explain how and why calls were made.  It’s not just soccer that’s seeing officials share more and more responsibility with AI-powered solutions. America’s Pastime is changing too, with Major League Baseball potentially introducing an automated strike zone soon. The innovation made its debut – to mixed responses – in minor league ball last spring.  

Quantifying Sponsor Screentime with Logo Detection

Plenty of high-profile brands are engaged in a competition of their own throughout the World Cup, vying for the attention of spectators in Qatar and viewers all around the world. Though corporations famously spend big on commercials ahead of Super Bowl Sunday, there are plenty of other marquee sporting events  that have corporate sponsors vying for consumer attention. During the World Cup, on-field ads, signage, and the players’ uniforms all provide a chance for brands to stand out.  Over the course of Super Bowl LVI last February, analysts counted a total of 19 brands with at least 10 seconds of non-commercial screen time. Nike, who sponsors much of the apparel worn by the pros, amassed an impressive 46 and a half minutes of screen time. Apparel brands made an outsize impact, with companies like Adidas and Under Armour joining Nike in the battle for recognition. 
Which brands are getting the most airtime during Qatar 2022? Soccer fans can potentially find out with the help of model blocks in Plainsight Pipelines Pipelines users have access to a guided interface for streamlining and simplifying computer vision workflows for operationalizing models, creating custom data transformation, and building prediction pipelines at scale. In addition to standard pipeline blocks for transforming images, tiling, and detecting a range of common objects, Plainsight Pipelines includes additional blocks for Google Cloud users. 
Plainsight’s Logo Detection block uses Google Cloud Vision API to detect the precise location of brand logos and products. The block has the potential to be especially useful for organizations interested in quantifying their television presence or protecting their intellectual property. Learn more about other Plainsight Pipelines’ features and benefits.

Adding Computer Vision to Your Roster

There’s plenty of debate still to come on the role artificial intelligence ought to play on the field, court, pitch, or diamond. Some purists hold that consequential decisions should never be left up to a machine and that bad calls – and the arguments it can cause – are as much a timeworn tradition as any other aspect of their favorite sport.   What’s not up for debate is the transformative potential of computer vision in the enterprise. Schedule a conversation with Plainsight today to learn more about how visual data analytics can evolve your organization.
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