Manchester City launches AI-powered smartband Fantom with Swedish start-up

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Premier League champions Manchester City have launched an artificial intelligence-powered (AI) wearable smartband – Fantom in collaboration with Swedish start-up Turnpike Group.

The football smartband, priced at £80 ($103), will be primarily based on content from Manchester City with a plethora of special features, including live match reporting, 24/7 inside information, updates, real-time match stats, breaking news, fan polls and quizzes.

Manchester City Fantom is also being claimed as a football first that will help in seamless ticket distribution and payments during the home games in Etihad stadium.

Packaged in a premium aluminium housing, Fantom features a touch display and soft silicone straps. The full release of the smartband ‘fan-tech’ platform follows a soft launch earlier this month that sold out within days of its release.

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Turnpike has worked closely with City on Fantom with the first beta trial conducted along with the club’s fans in 2017. The product is viewed as acting as a discrete means of displaying fandom – appearing on one’s wrist rather than wearing a jersey.

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.”