Dutch football data startup, SciSports, has raised €1.35 million in a seed funding round from unnamed investors to further develop its technology.

The University of Twente spinout has created a tool called BallJames that gathers 3D data of football games by looking into the field of radiology to try and make football analytics better while partnering with the university’s chair of Biometric Pattern Recognition.

Described as a “MRI scan for football games”, BallJames uses an MRI scanner that scans the whole pitch and gathers data on the players and the ball, which produces real time data on the action on the field. The date can be used by players, coaches, and referees alike.

“In fact, BallJames doesn’t even follow players, but tracks how so-called voxel-clouds [a value in a 3D space] move through our virtual stadium. Our Machine Learning algorithms teach the system what the players and the rules of the game are,” said founder Giels Brouwer.

The startup has signed up Dutch team PSV Eindhoven to use the technology with its players. Two other Dutch teams, Vitesse and Heracles Almelo, are on board as well.

SciSports isn’t focusing on football only though, and will be using its funds for international growth. Brouwer is keen to explore its movement tracking potential in several different scenarios.

“Just imagine the potential for impact-analysis in American Football, crowd control at airports and the amazing applications in the media and entertainment industry”.

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