Feeds

Image recognition – defense against a Lampard replay?

Geo-location missing an open goal

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The inventor of image recognition technology used in sports across the world has written to international football's governing body to ask that they reconsider using Hawk-Eye, a tool capable of spotting when a ball has crossed the goal line – and avoiding a repeat of the England versus Germany World-Cup debacle.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's Netherlands versus Spain final, Paul Hawkins - managing director of Hawk-Eye Innovations - has yet to get a reply from FIFA.

His letter comes ahead of a meeting by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) at the end of this month, where use of goal-line technology like Hawk-Eye will be discussed. IFAB sets football's rules and says what technology is allowed in matches.

Football's lawmakers rejected use of goal-line technology before the World Cup – in spite of IFAB approving use of a modified version of Hawk-Eye in a pilot three years ago at Reading FC.

That was before England midfielder Frank Lampard's goal was disallowed against Germany during a World Cup round-of-sixteen match in South Africa, in a match Germany won 4-1.

The linesman might not have seen the goal, but it was clear to the rest of the viewing world what had happened.

When FIFA announced its decision not to use goal-line technology, general secretary Jerome Valck said he hoped it would not come back to haunt them.

The haunting didn't stop at England versus Germany. Mexico fans watched horrified as Argentina's Carlos Tevez scored a goal that was clearly offside – clear to anyone but match officials. The goal helped end Mexico's world cup challenge.

Hawk-Eye's inventor reckons you can solve offside too. Hawk-Eye could track players in the same way it tracks balls by combining the data to determine a position. "That's technologically achievable – we could do it," he said.

The problem is that the work takes funding, and nobody wants to press on given IFAB and FIFA's apparent objection to use of on-pitch technology.

The reason for this is unclear, especially given that IFAB OK'ed the Reading pilot of Hawk-Eye in 2007 and 2008. The pilot was paid for by the English Premier League, which has come out in favor of goal-line technology.

A common objection is it might spoil the game by creating stoppages in play. Others say the technology might not be accurate.

Hawkins has no time for such complaints, claiming Hawk-Eye can get results from the goalmouth into a ref's ear in half a second. "Anyone who makes that argument doesn't know what they are talking about," Hawk-Eye's inventor told us Friday ahead of the final.

Hawk-Eye has proved its accuracy in tennis, cricket and snooker, and Hawkins modified the system for the Reading pilot once he got the clearance from IFAB.

The football systems uses six cameras around the goalmouth to record the action, with each camera hooked up to a server to capture and process data from the frames. Data is fed to a central server and knitted together to triangulate that position of the ball to a distance of within 5mm.

The image scanning and processing software is built in C++ and at Reading ran on Windows and Dell servers, with algorithms tweaked so the software could account for more people in a tighter spot – the penalty box and goal mouth – and differentiate, for instance, between the curve of a ball and that of a number "2" on a player's shirt.

The Reading test passed with full marks, catching thousands of goal-line incidents.

"Ultimately the software processes the images to always find the ball even if part of ball is obscured,' Hawkins said.

If IFAB and FIFA are against HawkEye's image recognition, they have few other options – even in the age of location-based services.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Next page: Anyone for GPS?

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.