Tuesday, June 15, 2010

World cup fever - technology lending a hand

 by Karen Coppock

Much of the world is focused on South Africa and the 2010 World Cup and technology is playing a significant role in enabling fans to get their soccer fix. For example:
  • Solar power is being used to enable live, large-screen television broadcasts of the World Cup in Kibera (a large slum in Kenya) and Jericho (a town in South Africa). The sponsor of this program - Solafrica - notes that its objective is to educate the local residents on the benefits of solar power - I imagine the 1,300 or so people that watch these broadcasts every day are fully convinced of the benefits and are thrilled to participate in the global soccer frenzy.
  • Mobile phone users can stream live video of the games from ESPN3 and for those with strong ears (or patient friends), there are the Vuvuzela applications - Vuvuzela 2010 claims to be the #1 free iPhone application downloaded in Argentina, Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Italy, Netherlands, UK and South Africa.
Soccer fans crave information and love to debate the  virtue (or shortfalls) of the games, players and teams....developers of mHealth, mEducation and mGovernment services could likely learn from the diverse ways the soccer community has engaged with technology and how to best reach diverse populations and market segments.

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