New technology may have leveled the playing field for the blind.
The Sound of Football, as part of the Pepsi Refresh Project, has devised a system that uses sound to simulate depth on the soccer field. It gives players a virtual perception of the field without using visual aids.
To test the system, PepsiCo/Carlsberg Sweden set up a friendly match between blind players and former professionals. Both groups were equipped with the sound orientation equipment. As you can see in the video below, blacked-out ski goggles evened things out for both sides.
The whole project relies on iPhones attached to the players' heads, which relay detailed binaural 3D sounds that give away information like ball position, nearby players, and direction of the goal, according to psfk.com. It's a highly sophisticated system and on a level playing field, it's astounding to see in action (though it's obviously not perfect).
The results might surprise you.
Check out the video below to learn more about how it works, and how the match ended.