3.23.2010

CTRUS: The Ball You Will Love to Hate



Now this is some next level ish. CTRUS is a ball that is currently in development and it has to potential to change the way games are officiated. Touted as "the first soccer ball you can see through", CTRUS is comprised of an inner skeletal core and an outer mesh flesh that doesn't require air yet emulates to bounce and feel of a normal inflated pneumatic soccer ball.

And just to up the TRON factor, the ball has a GPS-enabled computer chip inside that is capable of wireless communication. What the hell does that mean? It means that the ball can change color to indicate a goal or out of bounds. So no more arguing about did it or did it not cross the line.

It's all kind of cool but kind of The Devil at the same. Before you even get into all of the bells and whistles this thing has to move and feel like a traditional ball, otherwise it's a wasted effort. If you're curious for more info on what I am dubbing the FrankenBallhead over to Designboom.com; they've got some great photos and another slick video.

9 comments:

Jared said...

I'm just gonna save some time and copy/paste the comment I left on Gizmodo about this yesterday:

"As a player and referee, I can see this as a good idea. On paper. In practice, however, FIFA have already set precedent by stating that any changes to the Laws of the Game will be made only if they can be evenly applied to every level of competition, from youth leagues in the USA, to Second Division club competitions in developing African nations to the highest levels. As such, unless there is a major change in FIFA leadership, this ball will stay nothing more than a concept, and/or a novelty device not cleared for competition due to the extrordinary costs that would accompany deploying the sensor technology necessary for the pitch as well as the match ball itself.

I sure would like to get a test model to just play around with though, it looks like if it actually properly emulates an air filled ball, that it would be a ton of fun to play with, if a touch gimmicky.

Anonymous said...

And in water, mud, snow?

John said...

I was going to complain about the claim to detect offside, but if all the players were equipped with GPS chips as well, and unique IDs, with a little processing power the ball actually could call that as well. Linesmen would be obsolete!

Jared said...

John, I hate to burst your bubble of happiness about being able to get rid of Assistant Referees (as they are called these days), but considering the margin of error for a standard, non-military grade GPS device is something between 1 and 10 meters depending on conditions, and the fact that GPS receivers can only refresh their information once every six seconds makes the thought that a GPS enabled ball could do such things as patently ludicrous. It would make far more sense to toss an RFID or IR chip in there and position sensors around the pitch than to expect a GPS solution to that particular problem...

OleGunnar20 said...

i am sure the offside/out of bounds technology is the least of their problems. that can be handled with tweaking i am sure, i think adidas and some other big time soccer companies were already on it.

the thing i wonder is it has no real panels or texture so how does it feel on the foot and what kind of control is there? and with no panels and seams what kind of aerodynamics does it have.

but honestly, the ball looks sick and the marketing/design work is absolutely chic.

ADAM said...

IS THIS HIGHLY TECHNICAL CONVERSATION REALLY HAPPENING ON THIS WEBSITE RIGHT NOW? NERD ALERT! GUYS - TAKE THIS ELSEWHERE, AS 95% OF US HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT

Casey said...

Jared makes a great point. Though the ball is highly technologically advanced and could possibly assist in officiating, its practicality is essentially nonexistent. A ball so highly advanced would cost way too much for the common league, which would create an unnecessary disparity between the way the game is officiated among the different levels of play. I, however, would also like to play around with the ball a bit. The skeletal core looks sick and I'd love to see how it compares to the feel of a real ball as well.

vik said...

Well, it probably could do offsides and stuff if you had sensors around the pitch. GPS is innacurate cause it's going all the way back to the satellite, but if readings are taken closer to the ground, you can get as good a read on the chip as you want.

This site looks fishy. This is just a concept, all the images are CG. There is no data on the developers, and it seems to be by design to build up hype (viral marketing etc.) It's a cool idea, but I wonder why so much money has been put into an awesome advert instead of an actual prototype. I don't trust products with more marketing than substance... SHOW ME THE BALL!

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