Japan Offers Global 3-D Telecasts in 2022 World Cup Bid

High-tech Japan has promised to treat football fans worldwide to ultra-realistic live 3-D telecasts of World Cup matches should it win the right to host the 2022 edition. The 550 billion yen (six billion dollar) "Universal Fan Fest" project is part of Japan's bid submitted to football's world governing body FIFA on Friday, the Japan Football Association said.

The matches would be viewed by some 360 million people at nearly 400 select stadiums in FIFA's 208 member countries, said JFA general secretary Kohzo Tashima, chief executive officer of the bid committee. The images would be captured from 360 degrees by 200 high-definition cameras during each match, to be transmitted as three-dimensional images, a technology that has been driven in large part by Japan's electronics giants.

The matches would be shown on giant screens or, if technological advances in coming years allow, projected like a real match onto the pitch itself, giving viewers the illusion of watching the real thing. Microphones installed below the pitch where the actual game is taking place would record all sounds, including the ball being kicked and the referee's whistle, to create an ultra-realistic digital version. The futuristic communications system would be powered in part from electricity generated by spectators cheering and stamping their feet, as well as from solar panels on the roof of the stadium.

"You may say the required technology is like a dream and smacks of a sci-fi movie," said Keio University professor Jun Murai, who serves as director of technology at the committee. "But it is important to see how technology will evolve within 12 years. I think it will be realised or become usable by around 2016," he told a Tokyo press conference.

Source: AFP