Work is underway to install receivers in 17 NFL stadiums, each connected with cables to a hub and server that logs players' locations in real time. In less than a second, the server can spit out data that can be enhanced graphically for TV broadcasts with the press of a button.
If a player finds another gear in the fourth quarter of an important game, the sensors will pick it up. And if he's running out of gas, the sensors will reveal that, too.
NFL teams — many already using GPS technology to track players' movements, workload and efficiency in practice — won't have access to the in-game information in 2014 because of competitive considerations while the league measures the sustainability and integrity of the data.
Zebra's sensors are oblong, less than the circumference of a quarter and installed under the top cup of the shoulder pad, Stelfox said. They blink with a signal 25 times a second and run on a watch battery. The San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions and their opponents wore them for each of the two teams home games in last season as part of a trial run.
About 20 receivers will be placed around the bands between the upper and lower decks of the 17 stadiums that were selected for use this year. They'll provide a cross-section of environments and make sure the technology is operational across competitive settings before full deployment.
All 15 teams that host Thursday Night Football — Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Green Bay, Houston, Jacksonville, Miami, New England, Oakland, San Francisco, St. Louis and Washington — are on the list, along with Detroit and New Orleans.
Shah said the league tested GPS and infrared technology over the past two years as well but chose RFID in part because there are so many players on the field, which can cause problems with signals. Camera-based solutions used in basketball and other sports weren't an option either.
Sensors also will be attached to officials and yardage sticks. The technology isn't accurate enough yet to put a sensor in the ball and, say, tell whether it crossed the goal line. But it is accurate within less than six inches, Stelfox said. -usatoday
One of these billion dollar owners will without a doubt have a guy hack this thing to get the data. *cough*NE*cough*
On Johnathan Franklin being back with the team in a non-playing role:
"It's great to have Johnathan back. I hope so (he'll be back)."
On finding a role for Franklin:
"You like all your guys to be involved. He's as fine as a man as we've had in my time here."
I really try and look at this team without Green N' Gold glasses. But when I hear stuff like this, I can't help but be proud to be a fan of this team. What a cool thing to do. Let's hope Franklin enjoys whatever his role is.
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