The NFL is hiking up their technology presence in big ways. They are embracing innovative ways to enhance the viewer's experience and establish ways to improve team strategy on the field.
Along with Zebra Motionworks RFID chips to track player movements in real-time, the NFL is in the initial stages of revolutionizing the game by enabling virtual reality training for quarterbacks along with the pylon cam to catch a close up image from multiple angles.
The NFL is evolving their training strategies by using virtual reality headsets to transport their quarterbacks into a simulated game without putting them through physical practices that could negatively affect their ability to play.
Virtual reality is also being used to review regular games so instead of just watching the games to improve performance, players can relive moments on the field.
Virtual reality is giving a big advantage to teams because it is minimizing risk while advancing game technique. Instead of looking at playbooks, players are virtually active in the plays. Coaches can then narrow down plays by seeing which ones have the highest probability for success in a crucial moment.
Thus far the Patriots, 49ers, Buccaneers, Vikings, Cowboys and Eagles are all using VR this off season. STRIVR Labs and EON Sports VR are the two virtual reality companies providing technology to the NFL.
TV broadcasting is exploring with camera placement to get better action shots. The Pylon Camera is a custom built motion camera that is located on the goal line which holds many unique high resolution cameras. It records bird's eye views all across the end zone and sidelines.
Currently NFL technology is using this camera footage for replays, and ESPN and CBS are using it for their broadcasts. The only limitation with this type of camera is that it cannot produce live footage since they are meant as a first or second look.
Ultimately these cameras are going to really change how the game is looked at because having a camera that can get a super close up shot from multiple angles can give officials the ability to review plays down to every inch.
Looking into the future, NFL helmet technology as well as player GPS tracking is going to bring new insights to the game. These tracking devices have the potential to replace first down markers and maybe even human officials. Tracking devices placed in shoes and gloves will establish in and out of bounds determination along with other official calls.
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