Hawk-Eye tests TechRadar's missile-like shot
14th May 2012 | 10:12
Imagination shows off Champs League themed game
Anyone who has ever played football has probably had occasion to boast about their missile-like shot, but until you've pitted it against Hawk-Eye technology, you're all talk.
TechRadar had a chance to put its money where its mouth is when we caught up with Imagination at Sony's headquarters in Basingstoke, where we witnessed a special game that allows people to have their shot speed and accuracy tracked by the hottest technology around.
Hawk-Eye started life as a method of tracking missiles in flight, but is now a familiar sight on our televisions being used to accurately plot the trajectories of balls in sport.
With Hawk-Eye and its supporters battling for the tech to be used by football authorities to cut out the goal-line mistakes that blight the game, the timing could not be better.
The game is sponsored by the Ford B-Max, and sees people having to hammer their best efforts through the car's pillar-less doors.
Of course it's an advertising gimmick, but seeing the technology in action certainly allows people a rare glimpse of just how accurate Hawk-Eye is in working out where and how fast the ball is travelling.
"From Hawk-Eye's point of view, people on the street can only really access us through what they see on TV," Hawk-Eye's senior product manager Jouni Ronkainen told TechRadar.
"Over the past decade we've built up a strategy around ball-tracking cameras but now what we've been doing is looking at other avenues and we teamed up with Imagination to ask 'How can we utilise this technology in other spaces?'."
The game is now installed next to the stadium that will host the Champions League final on Saturday, and with Ford, Hawk-Eye and Imagination all involved, there is no shortage of weight behind the project.
But it won't get in the way of the game, Imagination's director for digital Damian Ferrar added:
"People are there just to experience the game and have a great time so we try to make the technology transparent on any project like this that we work on."
TechRadar's representative set a fairly weedy benchmark of 78 kph, falling under the 50mph mark and well below what the company is expecting to see from slightly fitter players now that we've warmed they whole system up for them.
"A professional footballer can easily kick a ball at 70 miles per an hour," said Richard Foulkes Imagination's Business and Special Projects Director. "We're expecting to see some of the fans beat that."