Top 10 football gadgets and games
This week is a footy special on The Gadget Show, so we thought we’d get you in the mood by shooting to score with the greatest football-flavoured gadgets and gizmos.
Have we missed any of your favourites out? Let us know below. But right now, let’s kick off the new season in true tech style…
If you’re a fan of foosball but don’t have space within your home for a proper table then you might want to consider this rather more mobile equivalent. The iPad’s large screen is perfectly suited for two-player action and pin-sharp visuals and authentic sound effects will make you think you’re down your local working men’s club indulging in the real thing.
Shoot4Goal Bouncy Goalie
Being a goalie is such a thankless profession – no only are you denied any goal-scoring glory but you’re also forced to graze your knees by making desperate, lunging saves. Thankfully the Bouncy Goalie makes things a little more entertaining – it’s essentially a giant bouncy castle which propels footballs in your general direction. The soft surface encourages extravagant dives and acrobatics.
SEGA Football Manager Live
Football management simulations have long been the domain of anti-social males, hunched over their monitors in dimly-lit bedrooms. Sega has taken steps to make it slightly more social by creating this online variant, adding a dash of much-needed human interactivity.
Luminvision’s projected pitch allows you to enjoy a quick kick-around without the need for a ball. Thanks to an extremely clever projector which can pick up on movement and objects – such as your foot – you’re able to enjoy a virtual game without having to worry about putting a ball through the living room window.
If you’re too lazy or simply don’t want to risk any football-related injuries then robotic table football is probably more up your street. Controlled wirelessly via joysticks, these little smart chaps boast surprisingly proficient ball skills and even feature LED faces which display emotions during tense matches. The system is currently doing the rounds in its native Korea but you can expect worldwide domination to occur sometime soon.
EA’s FIFA video game has been a regular yearly event for almost two decades now and 2011’s entry promises to be the best yet. It contains a career mode, create-a-player facilty, vastly improved computer AI and a brand spanking new game engine. Heck, you can even choose to play the match entirely from the perspective of the goalie, if you so desire.
Football Manager Handheld (iPhone)
Let’s not skirt around the truth there – football management games are the video game equivalent of hard drugs. The addiction of managing your own digital football team is so powerful that many fans regard the outside world as a release from the worries of transfer deadlines, board meetings and training sessions. With the release of Football Manager Handheld on the iPhone, there is simply no escape.
The Soccer Store Samba Portable Training Goal
Back when we were kids it was perfectly acceptable to use jumpers for goalposts but the modern child is a little more demanding. Thank goodness then for these portable posts, which are constructed from uPVC and come with their own net and ground anchors. They’re certain to bring a touch of class to your light-hearted kick around down the local park.
Sky TV App with Sky Sports
Sky’s free-to-download iPhone app is great for catching up on current events but for an additional fee you can also watch matches from the Barclays Premier League, Scottish Premier League and Football League. You need never be without live football ever again.
Wesco Football Alarm Clock
After you’ve watched your team plunge to crushing defeat and drowned your sorrows down the local boozer, the last thing you want is your alarm clock rousing you from your stupor the following morning. Thankfully with this rubber football-shaped version, you can or boot it into touch to stop the infernal beeping.
For those days when the rain is pouring and outdoor sporting activates are off-limits, this battery-powered wonder is a Godsend. It floats on a cushion of air and bounces effortlessly off surfaces. It can even be used on carpets, which means you can legitimately transform your humble living room into a miniature Old Trafford.