A Japanese bid to bring the football World Cup to stadiums around the world via holograms has been rejected.
Soccer’s governing body FIFA today announced that the 2022 finals will take place in Qatar. Japan was one of the bids for that tournament that reached the final vote.
As part of a presentation to voters, Junji Ogura, who led the Japanese bid, promised that matches would be relayed live from the original stadium to arenas worldwide. Each game would be filmed with 200 cameras, with the resulting images beamed onto special 3D holographic screens on the pitch in each arena.
While Howard Stringer, the chairman of Sony, said the proposal was “not science fiction — it’s science fact”, other technology experts seemed sceptical such a system could be ready within 12 years. The most common take is that the concept itself would work, but without 3D glasses it would be difficult to set up suitable viewing positions for thousands of spectators. Even if that were possible, it would require crowd members to remain in one position and not move their heads, something that would be tricky enough for 90 minutes but would be almost impossible once you add in excited reactions to events in the game.
Another Japanese proposal was to give fans handheld devices that allowed them to talk to other spectators around the world using automated translation. That’s another idea where the principle seems feasible, but the sheer logistics of dealing with millions of people might be trickier.
The winning Qatar bid isn’t quite so futuristic, but has some appeal to engineering geeks. Given the climate in the region, the idea is to build “carbon-neutral” stadia that are powered via solar panels, with some of the electricity used for much needed air conditioning.
Meanwhile, because the small country won’t need 12 large capacity stadia after the tournament, it plans to build modular arenas. After the event, the upper tiers will be removed, disassembled, and shipped to developing nations where they will be reformed as single-tier stadia.