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Technologies Used in the NFL

July 3, 2023
tablet tech

Football is a very famous sport all around the world, especially the Super Bowl. Families and friends get together and eat snacks while their eyes are glued to the TV. So, the games need to be fair for both teams to make the games exciting. For that NFL has introduced several technologies throughout history which have helped in making the correct decisions at crucial times. Some of these technologies are:

Instant Replay 

Instant replay has become an important element of the supervising process in the National Football League (NFL). It helps the officials to determine the accuracy of a situation in rather crucial games. The purpose of this technology is to achieve precision and accuracy and avoid human errors before giving an official statement regarding the game. The referee has up to 90 seconds to watch the instant replay of the play and decide if the original call was correct. 

The limited instant play was first adopted by the NFL in 1986 and remained in use till 1991. The present technology was introduced in 1999. High-definition review systems were introduced and were the first of its kind. The NFL’s instant replay system improves annually, thanks to technology like stopwatches, walkie-talkies, and pagers, enabling accurate and consistent rulings.


Helmet Technology

This technology, as the name suggests, improves the safety of the players and prevents major concussions. The helmets can absorb high amounts of impact in head-to-head collisions with special padding. They also include helmet sensors that can measure the impact of the collision, which helps in determining whether the player needs serious medical attention or not. Rules have also changed a little, but, for example, it is illegal for a player to hit with the top of their helmet, whether they are a defensive or offensive player. They also undergo some tests and impacts to see if they are suitable or not for the game. Experts continue to think about how to make the game safe and injury-less for the players, and improving the helmets is the best way to do that. 


Surface Tablets 

Surface Tablets has been a joint partnership venture between NFL and Microsoft since 2014. It is used for sideline communication, game analysis, and in-game adjustments. The coaches and the players use these tablets to communicate. These tablets make the adjustments of the players easier during the game. The opponent strategies and review of the game footage can also be done through these tablets. These tablets aid the referees in making critical decisions. The tablets also assist the medical staff in reviewing player injury information and medical history.

The surface tablets rose to prominence in 2015 during the regular season games. Microsoft introduced the Surface Pro on the NFL sidelines in 2017. They were integrated into SCS in 2018, and extended a partnership for seven years, extending collaboration beyond the sidelines to cloud computing, data analytics, and AI. In this fast-pacing world, what can be further achieved with the help of these tablets is a topic of detailed discussion.


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