The 2018 World Cup Soccer Ball

Every four years, the most iconic sporting accessory in the world is reborn. This year’s World Cup is no different, with Adidas introducing the Telstra 18.

The Telstra 18 is by far the most technologically advanced soccer ball ever made. You wouldn’t know by looking at it. The design of the ball is a throwback to the original Adidas Telstra Elust ball from the first time an Adidas ball was used in a World Cup game back in 1970. The team came to this decision after hundreds of interviews. Every single person’s idea of a soccer ball was the white ball with black pentagons: The Telstra.

“We asked design students, kids, even people working here at Adidas, please draw up a ball for us,” Roland Rommler, the Global Head of Adidas Soccer Hardware said. “And in 99% of all cases, they [were] all white balls with pentagons.

Each of these balls comes with a built-in NFC chip. Owners can interact with the ball using a smartphone with near-field-communication. The sensor provides the owner with the ability to name, and tag the ball along with other information. A more advanced version, which would record velocity, kick point, and strike velocity was not found to be durable enough for match use.

Adidas even tried installing multiple cameras, but found that the footage was not useful, and often was causing motion sickness.