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FIFA World Cup refs will wear custom watches running Wear OS
- Luxury watchmaker Hublot will release its first smartwatch, and it will be powered by Wear OS (formerly Android Wear).
- The watches will be worn by referees of the World Cup games, using sophisticated technology to help them judge plays in real time.
- 2,018 numbered watches will be sold to the public starting on May 1, 2018 for about $5,200.
Swiss luxury watchmaker Hublot just announced its first ever smartwatch, and it’s going to be powered by Wear OS (formerly Android Wear). Not only that, but this special edition watch is going to be the official timepiece at this year’s FIFA World Cup.
The watch has the unfortunate moniker of Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. Hublot will only produce 2,018 consumer-level watches, while also producing custom versions for each referee during the games.
Since this is Hublot we’re talking about, the watches will be luxurious. Constructed of titanium, the watch will have six H-shaped screws adorning its bezel along with a Kevlar insert, all housed in a 13.9 mm-thick case. The default display of the smartwatch will feature a traditional Hublot “analog” face, giving the impression that the smartwatch is actually a conventional, analog watch.
But what really makes the watch distinct is its connection to the twenty-first FIFA World Cup and how it uses Wear OS to keep sports fans in touch with the games. The watch will notify the wearer 15 minutes before every game’s kickoff, and also buzz them when there’s a red or yellow card. The watch will also vibrate and display the word GOAL instantly every time a team scores.
As the game progresses, the watch will continually show stats of whichever of the 64 matches is currently going on at that particular moment. The watch dial will show the score, the number of cards, names of goal-scorers, player substitutions, and the time left in the match.
The version that referees will get will have a slightly modified notifications system. Using video and special sensors on the field, refs will have access to information that has never been offered at a soccer game before. Using the watch, the refs can watch instant replays as well as follow the trajectory of the ball right from their wrist.
Each watch will be numbered one out of 2,018 and cost 5,000 Swiss francs (about $5,200). Hublot sales outlets worldwide will carry the watch starting on May 1, 2018.