The sports technology world is constantly evolving, especially over the past two decades. While leagues try to keep the playing field as level as possible, equipment firms are investing millions of dollars in athletic performance. Additionally, the experience of the audience has evolved in the world of media. Here are the inventions that are changing football as we know it :
- Player Tracking – Zebra MotionWorks
Tracking movements on the field of both players and officials, Zebra Technologies transmitters capture location, speed and distance. This technology allows coaches to make real-time performance evaluations, enhance practice sessions, and easily integrates w/graphic programs for live broadcast and replay. This sport technology innovation enables the NFL to accurately capture real-time player stats and gives coaches immediate insight into action on the field.
- Digital Playbooks – Microsoft Surface Tablets
Shaving time of the old method of photographing, printing, binding and flipping through black and white pictures through the sidelines, the Microsoft Surface Tablet is changing the way the NFL strategizes plays. Microsoft reportedly paid $400 million dollars to be the “Official Tablet of the NFL” having the devices on the sidelines and the coaches’ booth. The rubberized waterproof screens keep the tablet protected on the field, and are stored in climate controlled cases at the end of the game.
- Smart Stadiums – IBM Smart Stadiums
It’s evident in the mission of the NFL that the organization seeks to attract the broadest audience and be the best form of sports entertainment in the world. By increasing the amount of data and communication available within the venue, stadium owners can keep fans happy and safe. Now, arenas like the 49er’s Levi’s Stadium are fully equipped with WiFi capabilities connecting fans with features such as ordering food and drink right from their seats, find parking, and stadium facilities.
- Intelligently Design Helmets – Riddell 360 Helmet
Banning high-risk tackles, sidelining independent neurologists, and pledging millions of dollars to NFL union are some of the things the NFL has implemented in terms of safety within the last two years. It’s not wonder why products like the Riddell 360 Helmet are addressing safety concerns about concussions. Using a face mask attachment and energy managing materials, energy from frontal impacts are dispersed – keeping players safer than before.
- Carbon Fiber Pads – Russell Athletics CarbonTek Should Pads
For decades shoulder padding has remained bulky and hindering. With newly redesigned shoulder pads like the Carbontek, shoulder pads are significantly lighter with a wider range of flexibility. There are two main elements that set these pads apart from your average shoulder protections (1) compression vest -provides more coverage to the torso area, disperses heat and aids in moisture management (2) OS technology – constructed of egg-crate shaped foam that fits to the player’s body.