Sports stats are big business and the NFL is about to get serious about accurate stats accounting.
With some help from Zebra Technologies’ location system, 17 NFL stadiums will use receivers and RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags inside player’s shoulder pads to track movement. The setup provides real-time position data for each player, offering up precise info on acceleration, speed, routes and distance as part of the “Next Gen Stats” initiative for fans.
Not a techie but love football…RFID stands for Radio-frequency identification and via wikipedia:
The wireless non-contact use of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data, for the purposes of automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects. The tags contain electronically stored information.
And it’s not only players who will be tracked, as referees are getting the tags too, so more info can get gathered on officials on field movements as well.
The benefit to all this is quite obvious:
“Zebra’s tracking technology will help teams to evolve training, scouting and evaluation through increased knowledge of player performance, as well as provide ways for our teams and partners to enhance the fan experience,” says NFL VP of Media Strategy Vishal Shah.
The 15 venues that are hosting Thursday night games are getting outfitted, with Detroit and New Orleans added in to make sure each team gets tallied. It’s only a matter of time before all the tracking of players in real time is pipelined to fans’ mobile devices as well.
Following the NFL, watching live games, and tracking players is about to undergo a massive tech upgrade. NFL 2.0 is coming.