Ctrus is a super high-tech, sensor-enabled soccer ball that lights up in different colors when it's tossed out of bounds, scores a goal or falls into the crosshairs of a foul, thereby adding some technical ballast to an infamously poorly umpired sport. The ball also has a camera and speed and positioning sensors that would add some statistical heft to the actual movements of the game.
Headed by Alberto Villarreal and Michel Rojkind, Agent beat out more than 3,000 entries for the award.
The ball -- only a concept at this point -- works by stuffing assorted GPS and RFID chips in a skeletal structure. The skeleton's then covered in a reinforced-elastic mesh, which has the same bounce of a standard soccer ball, but doesn't require air.
The ball has the potential to radically alter and, we'd argue, improve soccer. Just think of the amount of data the thing would produce, giving fans an incredible window onto the mechanics of the game and managers a more precise idea of the merits of players themselves. And while Ctrus might not eliminate refs altogether (unfortunately, RFID chips can't determine whether player x did in fact yank player y's ponytail) it can tamp down on human error. A camera in the ball would probably do away with terrible calls like this one.
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[Images courtesy of Agent]