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Malaysian telecom firm Digi creates ‘Footbraille’ prototype for visually impaired football fans

To commemorate Malaysia’s 62nd National Day, Digi Telecommunications launched ‘Footbraille’ a prototype solution to help the visually impaired engage more deeply with football.

Footbraille was developed by Digi, Naga DDB Tribal, Barney Chua of Mojo Films and Tee Chian Ang of Expedio Designs. The prototype was built around making three members of Malaysia’s national blind football team experience a historic match from the Moscow Olympics 1980 where Malaysia beat South Korea 2-1. 

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 its next 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. 

Speaking about the campaign, Digi’s chief corporate affairs officer Joachim Rajaram said: “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.” 

Filmmaker Barney Chua said: “Those who had experienced the euphoria back then are keen to share that feeling and experience with other football fans, even those who weren’t born back then, and those who don’t have the ability to see a game live. 

“Thanks to the technology that we have today, we managed to make that wish come true. And by doing so, prove that football and tech can come together to make a nation stronger.”

Naga DDB Tribal executive creative director Alvin Teoh said: “We’ve always been dreaming of ideas for brands that go beyond marketing, and have an impact on society. 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 to 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,” 

“Did we just make history? We would like to think so. This is only the beginning. The next phase would involve a live match. Here, and perhaps far beyond our borders. One can dream right? If a mamak-food inspired idea can get to this spot, it can go far.” 

Credits:

Executive creative director: Alvin Teoh

Deputy executive creative director: Paul Lim

Creative director: Ellison Fernandez

Creative group head: Shireen Ang

Copywriter: Audrey Wong and Izzul Iqram

Art director: Yeo Lee Kee

Business unit head: Kevin Teh

Associate brand director: Ong Ee May

Project manager: Elizabeth Anita

AV producer: Stephanie Ooi

Film director: Barney Chua

Assistant director: Zekry Mazlan

Director of photography : Jeerasak Intasa

Producer: Stephanie Ng Yu Lin

Post-production : Mecanicca EFX Post

Audio production: Teoh Eng Hooi

Editor: Faiz izal

Technical director: Ang Tee Chian

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