No matter where a fan is in the stadium, no view is as good as one coming from a body cam strapped to a Premier League soccer player.
The first-person perspective is a new initiative from England top division Newcastle’s Bruno Guimaraes and Aston Villa’s Youri Tielemans. The videos are available to watch on YouTube (one here, and here) but the organization has disabled the ability to embed them.
The cameras were stitched into players’ GPS vests, which are used to track details like how far and how fast the footballer ran. A hole was cut in the jersey to give the lens an adequate viewing space, ultimately making players look like futuristic footballers from a cyberpunk future. They’re also mic’ed up, allowing for a fully immersive view from the couch.
The Premier League uploaded short videos from the body cam footage, which show crisp images of the action even as they run around the pitch. The Daily Mail writes that the image was cropped by AI to focus on the best parts.
Unfortunately, these videos will be limited as the International Football Association Board forbids the use of body cameras in competitive matches, according to the latest rules posted on its website. Technology used in competitive matches must meet requirements set by the FIFA Quality Programme. However, working with the organization could mean approval for games in the future. And the Daily Mail reports that players seemed enthused about the prospect of wearing the cameras regularly.
“The feedback from Bruno was extremely positive – he sees the value in both bringing added entertainment to supporters and its use as an analysis tool. He, like many of his team-mates, would be willing to wear them week in, week out, and the Brazilian reported no intrusion on his movement,” the Daily Mail reported.
This is amazing insight! 🤩
— Premier League (@premierleague) July 26, 2023
The uploaded videos were taken from matches for the Premier League Summer Series in the U.S. It’s a friendly pre-season tournament, making it a good place to trial the tech. The test certainly seemed to be a success.
“As a fan football looks easy when viewing from up there but now I can see how hard it is,” one YouTube comment read.
Another echoed a similar sentiment posting, “It’s so easy to see where a player needs to pass when we’re looking from above but it looks just so chaotic like this I love it haha.”
It seems like fans got a changed in perspective in more ways than one.