As we all know the NFL season is just around the corner. How exciting?! The preseason has started a couple weeks ago, and new tech gadgets have been tested to make play calling and organizing games a lot easier for coaches, players and even fans.
The tech world has been making their statement in the sports world and here's how :
1. Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 have arrived on the NFL sidelines. The Surface Pro 3 offers a bigger, lighter and thinner screen that provides clearer images. The stylus pen also comes in 4 colors making it easier to differentiate routes and plays.
2. Virtual reality has been getting more popular and some NFL teams have taken advantage of it! The New England Patriots began using virtual reality technology during their practice to assist film study. The device captures footage from the perspective of players which allows them to go back into the film room, put on headsets, and then watch the play in a virtual reality setting. This helps players understand how to shed blocks, avoid interceptions, etc. Even college football teams have gotten onboard with the technology.
3. Concussions remain a serious issue not only in the NFL but in all of sports. The number of participating in youth football significantly decreased for the fear of concussions. It's not something to take lightly which is why the NFL have taken careful precautions to keep their players healthy and injury-free.
Riddell, the most worn helmet brand in the last 2 decades, have been researching and creating helmets to help prevent concussions. Although this injury is nearly impossible to avoid, at least we know that they're doing what they can to lower the number of injuries. Their up and coming helmet, SpeedFlex, have to still pass certain tests to be approved, but it is on its way. The most noticeable feature of the new helmet is the front cutout. The feature allows the helmet to be more flexible. Extra thick padding have been added so players can take big hits. The impact from either side of the helmet also allow more room to scatter force before it actually gets to the head. The SpeedFlex also created locks in the helmet for chinstraps to stay in place. Players sometimes intentionally like to unsnap the chinstrap but Riddell has it made it nearly impossible for them to "forget" to snap the helmet.
4. On June 3, 2015 the NFL named Yahoo! Inc. its partner to display the first free live stream of games to its audience world-wide. The partnership expands the NFL'S presence digitally and could lead to more of the league's games being available at NO charge across a variety of electronic devices. This is great because with our busy schedules, a lot of us can't stay at home several hours a day on Mondays, Thursdays, and Sundays to watch a football game. Live stream allows us to stream our games anywhere as long as we have a smartphone or any other streaming device. There's also a great application, NFL Rewind, that allows you to watch any games you have missed in HD. However, I still prefer watching it on the big screen with lots and lots food :)
5. Like it or not, mobile has forever changed the face of attending sporting events. Fans expect to connect, share, and engage as part of the game. If I can count how many spectators I've seen on their phones while watching a baseball or football game - we would probably be here all day. When the connection works, fans are happy - if it fails...oh boy.
Most NFL stadiums were built way before smartphones even existed so they have been working hard to get these accommodations working better to please their fans. After all, fans are the sole reasons why stadiums stand today and why players get paid the big bucks, right? With the rise of HD televisions and advanced technology in the palm of our hands, the NFL recognizes that they need to entice fans to come to the stadium. The top 4 NFL teams with the most advanced technlogy stadiums are the - Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, and the Arizona Cardinals.
- The Cowboys left the world in awe with the world's largest HD LED video display.
-The Miami Dolphins have collaborated with IBM to bring a personal experience to the fans. New mobile applications are provided for the fans to access the latest scores, stats and share information regardless of location.
- With the 49ers' brand new stadium, Levi Stadium, the owners have signed a fantasy football and social media deal with Yahoo allowing for fans to stay updated with all their fantasy football news from around the NFL while they enjoy watching their favorite team play live at the stadium. Levi Stadium hosts a 1,200 wi-fi hub which is 4 times the league minimum. The stadium lives and breathes for tech-savvy fans who are always connected.
- The owners of the Arizona Cardinals believe that football should be played on natural grass. The stadium has a retractable roof to protect the fans from the hot desert heat while sustaining a healthy field. 75 minutes after the fans have left the stadium, the grass field is ready to bask in the sunlight.