With Merdeka just around the corner, Digi is going all out in uniting Malaysians further by including football fans who are visually impaired. After all, football has been a major way in uniting Malaysians, be it supporting local or even international talent. But how can those visually impaired enjoy a game meant to be watched?
Other than being told what happened during the game, Digi has come up with Footbraille, the first of its kind solution to help our visually impaired peers experience the full euphoria of a football match. The Footbraille prototype and its benefits to this community makes its debut in the company’s national day video this year.
Footbraille is a prototype that is set to change the way the visually impaired experience the thrills and the spills of a football match as their sighted peers would. Developed by Digi, 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 that allows 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 next phase, Footbraille will be put to the test to capture a live or training football match, and transmit the game in real-time. It's also possible to see this device being used for other similar sports, likely where it's a ball being moved around a certain space or field. So there's hope to get more Malaysians experiencing the real thrill of a sports game live.
During the media presentation, we got to witness this in motion with the example being an infamous football game that put Malaysia's football team on the map. "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 in the 1980 Olympics Moscow qualifiers. By applying technology innovatively, we are able to be inclusive to connect the visually impaired communities to what matters to them, enabling them to enjoy and pursue their passion for football in an immersive manner,” said Joachim Rajaram, Digi’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer.
“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,” he added.