In commemoration of Malaysia’s 62nd National Day, Digi Telecommunications has launched ‘Footbraille,’ an idea that aims to help the blind and visually impaired engage more deeply with football.
Developed by Digi, Naga DDB Tribal, Barney Chua of Mojo Films and Tee Chian Ang of Expedio Designs, Footbraille was built around making three members of Malaysia’s national blind football team experience a historic match from the Moscow Olympics 1980 when Malaysia defeated South Korea 2-1.
“If there is one game you would like to watch, what would it be?” asked film director Barney Chua of Mojo films. “The 1980 Olympic qualifying game, where Malaysia beat Korea 2-1!” They know the game by heart. Now it’s time to see it. And that’s where Footbraille comes in.
A note from Digi on the development of the technology said: “It is a touch table which syncs wirelessly to a device with a custom software that inputs the ball’s movement, and then creates a touch-based response allowing users to ‘feel’ the match. This experience is enhanced by a live match commentary to help users completely immerse themselves in the game.
Multiple Footbraille devices can be simultaneously connected to allow for several users to experience a match at the same time.
In the following phase, Digi plans to capture live matches transmitted via Footbraile in real time. It is also looking to adapt the solution to other sports and events.
“We’ve always been dreaming of ideas for brands that go beyond marketing, and have an impact on society,” said Alvin Teoh, ECD of Naga DDB Tribal. “We don’t always succeed, but we try.”
“Whether in the form of a film, a project, through technology, or a mash-up of everything, the aim is harness the power of ideas and creativity to create something that people will care about. And to think that this idea happened over a random conversation at a mamak stalls is just so surreal.”
Digi’s chief corporate affairs officer Joachim Rajaram added: “We strongly believe that all Malaysians should be given the opportunity to benefit from the power of the internet and technology. In this instance, we married the passion and patriotism of our nation’s athletes to one of our most iconic sporting moments that happened over 39 years ago, when Malaysia won 2-1 against South Korea.
“It was a challenging but inspiring journey for us, especially when we saw the expressions of wonder and delight on the faces of the Malaysian blind footballers as they felt the match for the first time. It affirms our belief that our efforts to ensure no one is left behind as the world moves forward digitally is well worth it.”