RECAP: Connected Soccer at Cannes Lions 2016 with IBM

3 movements, 10 athletes, 20 minutes, 600,000 data points.

Last week, we were at the Cannes Lions 2016 festival, the world’s largest gathering of creative professionals with people at the forefront of the advertising, design, digital innovation and entertainment worlds attending. It was here that we took part in an incredible and unique "connected soccer" event. 

Kiwi Wearables with a Waterfront Panorama at Cannes Lions 2016.jpg

Who was there?

The Girl’s Lounge, a female advocacy group, IBM iX, the world’s largest digital agency network, and Watson IoT, an AI-powered analytics platform that gleans intelligent insights from data, along with Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach, two US soccer legends and leaders in modern sport.


Kiwi with The Girls Lounge and IBM - Watson iOT and iX  for a connected soccer game at Cannes Lions 2016.jpg

Why were they there?

For a good cause. IBM donated money to the Girl Scouts and Let Girls Learn organisations, with the exact amount depending on how players moved during the game. Confused? Keep reading.

Why were we there?

Making working intelligent sensor devices is really hard - you need people with expertise in computer science, machine learning, sensor and digital signal processing, mathematics, plus someone who understands how all those different fields come together. You need people with different backgrounds to come together and build something better than anything anyone could have come up with alone. Naturally, when it's all you do, you begin to understand the power of collaboration.


The event was therefore the perfect opportunity for Kiwi to partner with three organizations and make a tangible difference (and to show off our mad soccer skills) . What better showcase for the potential of our connected world?

Ali Nawab from jumping with a ball at the connected soccer game at Cannes Lions 2016.gif

What happened?

Two teams, led by Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach, faced off in a 20 minute, 5 vs. 5 beach soccer game with a cause. Players wore forearm and ankle devices where the Kiwi software sensed and recognised specific movements such as touching the ball (soft), kicking the ball (hard), or running. Each device recorded and transmitted 50 data points every second to the WatsonIoT platform, for fine, rapid processing of the data. In fact, for every ball touch, kick, or goal, IBM donated an extra $5, $10, or $100 respectively. On the sand, the athletes gave it their all and the flurry of activity resulted in a final donation amount of $10,000.

Abby Wambach in action during the connected soccer game kicking the ball with her wearable sensors.jpg


Would we do it again?

DEFINITELY! The event highlighted the possibilities that arise from a successful marriage of software, hardware, socialware and teamware. With The Girl’s Lounge bringing the athletes, IBM iX the branding, and Watson IoT the power of its AI platform, Kiwi brought the technology to assemble them all and make the intelligent sensing happen. 

Kiwi team enjoying themselves at Cannes Lions 2016.jpg

For more awesome media from Cannes Lions 2016, check out The Girl's Lounge's Flickr!

We hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the intelligent sensor future. What other sports do you think could benefit from these types of sensors? Let us know right down below!