English soccer giants Manchester City and Swedish start-up Turnpike Group have launched Fantom, an artificial intelligence-powered (AI) wearable designed for sports fans.
The full release of the smartband ‘fan-tech’ platform follows a soft launch earlier this month that sold out within days of its release.
Working with content from City, the UK£80 wristwatch-style Fantom offers supporters a variety of special features, including real-time match stats, breaking news, fan polls and quizzes.
The product is viewed as acting as a discrete means of displaying fandom – appearing on one’s wrist rather than wearing a jersey. The Swedish company has worked closely with City on the device, first undergoing a beta trial with the club’s fans in 2017.
The Fantom has been fitted with near field communication (NFC) capabilities, allowing for contactless features such as season ticket storage and payments. The technology will also inform fans when they are situated near other supporters.
Carl Norberg, co-founder of Fantom said: “Fantom is an instant tribe telegraph on your wrist, making you feel connected to everything happening around the club. For clubs it’s incredibly exciting because it enables them to understand and reach their most loyal fans in a completely personalised way, without cannibalising existing sales, relationships or channels.”
Co-founder Björn Ögren added: “Every part of Fantom is designed from the ground up. Everything is custom made, from the chipsets and industrial design to the operative system and the innovative user experience with the sole focus of creating a unique fan experience. We see an enormous potential for the platform.”
City continued their strong start to the season with a 6-1 victory over Huddersfield on Sunday.