NFL To Use Tracking Devices During Games.....................

Discussion in 'Front Page News' started by soulman, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. soulman

    soulman Coordinator
    DBS Writer

    Oct 14, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Please Register or Log in to Remove this Advertisement!
    NFL players to get tracking chips in shoulder pads

    The NFL Gets Quantified Intelligence Courtesy Of Shoulder...

    The NFL is making a move to integrate RFID-based activity tracking tech to give fans, coaches and players more information about what exactly athletes go through during each game. The Zebra...



    The NFL is making a move to integrate RFID-based activity tracking tech to give fans, coaches and players more information about what exactly athletes go through during each game.

    By Ellen Jean HirstTribune reporter
    3:48 p.m. CDT, July 31, 2014

    Beginning with the NFL's regular season, players will be equipped with tracking technology in their shoulder pads measuring how fast, far and what routes they run – in real time.

    The small radio frequency identification (RFID) chips were designed by Lincolnshire-based Zebra Technologies. The hypersensitive location tracking system will send data to receivers installed at 17 NFL stadiums, including Soldier Field. Those receivers are programmed with algorithms to instantaneously organize the information in a way that’s useful for broadcasters and fans. The data is also stored on an NFL cloud.

    The sensor chips, about as big as a quarter and two quarters thick, run on a small watch-type battery that lasts about a year. They’re also washable and sturdy to sustain hard hits.

    “You can track exactly how they run the entire game,” Zebra CEO Anders Gustafsson said in an interview. “You can see how far they run, you can see how quickly they run in the first quarter versus the fourth quarter. You can see three times out of four they will break left versus right.”

    All NFL players will be equipped with the chips, which will be installed before the season starts and turned on when they play in those 17 stadiums, which includes the 15 that host Thursday Night Football games, as well as Detroit and New Orleans.

    The Chicago Bears' first game with the technology will be the team's opening regular season game on Sept. 7 at noon against the Buffalo Bills. Zebra’s receivers will be installed at Soldier Field in August.

    Last year, Zebra conducted a pilot program with the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions. The NFL chose to go with RFID technology over global positioning system technology, because RFID is accurate up to 6 inches, while GPS is only accurate to the meter. Though it’s still not accurate enough to attach to a football to measure whether a ball passed a 1st down or goal line, that’s a goal for the future, Zebra officials said.

    Zebra staff will also work each game to make sure everything is running smoothly, said Jill Stelfox, vice president and general manager of Zebra’s location solutions team, which developed the chips.
    Stelfox said one can liken the technology to a home Wi-Fi system.

    “Just like your Wi-Fi system at home, your laptop communicates to your Wi-Fi access point and then you get on to the Internet,” Stelfox said. “It’s exactly the same the only difference is, it’s at a different frequency.”
    NFL coaches won’t have access to that information in real-time this year, because the technology is not yet available in all NFL stadiums, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. Once the playing field is leveled, they will all have access to the instant data.

    Stelfox said those who like to play coach from their living room will be able to tell not just that a player squeaked out 4 rushing yards – but that they ran 10 yards total to gain those 4. Eventually, NFL coaches will have access to the information and all stadiums will be equipped with the technology, Stelfox said.

    They’ll also be able to see information about how quickly a wide receiver ran and how quickly and how far linemen were able to push the defensive team back to make a hole for a running back to run through.
    Broadcasters will have instant access to this information at their work stations, which they can use as they call the game.

    Zebra uses this technology with a few cars in NASCAR, Stelfox said, and has for several years worked with a women’s soccer team in China and a hockey team in Russia.

    “We’re pretty proud to say that it’s not new, but it’s been tested for a long time,” Stelfox said. “The part that is new for us is the software around the rules of the game of football.”

    Zebra also uses similar technology to track the locations of U.S. soldiers and nurses. It has 10 years of experience in RFID technology, with more than 1 million tags in use globally. Ford and General Motors use the same technology to track their inventory.

    The company, which recently purchased the enterprise unit of Motorola Solutions, anticipates growth among sports analytics. Next year, Zebra anticipates having a Bluetooth technology that measures players’ heart rates, lung capacities and temperatures in NFL practices.

    McCarthy said the league has been looking into these technologies for some time. In fact, as early as 2011, the league included language in its collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association that says the NFL can require players to wear “nonobtrusive tracking devices for purposes of collecting information regarding the performance of NFL games...”

    “This goes back to something NFL Commissioner (Roger) Goodell has stressed during his tenure here which is to embrace technology, use it to make the technology better for the players the coaches, and at home for the fans,” Goodell said.

    Goodell said NFL officiates will also wear tracking devices, the data from which can be used as a “teaching tool,” he said.

    He said the “next generation stats” will also impact how and Fantasy Football leagues measure players’ abilities.

    Team stadiums equipped with the technology will include:
    • Atlanta Falcons
    • Baltimore Ravens
    • Carolina Panthers
    • Chicago Bears
    • Cincinnati Bengals
    • Denver Broncos
    • Green Bay Packers
    • Houston Texans
    • Jacksonville Jaguars
    • Miami Dolphins
    • New England Patriots
    • Oakland Raiders
    • San Francisco 49ers
    • St. Louis Rams
    • Washington Redskins
    • Detroit Lions
    • New Orleans Saints
  2. soulman

    soulman Coordinator
    DBS Writer

    Oct 14, 2004
    Likes Received:
    There's a rumor floating around that Goodell wants a special one installed on Johnny Manziel so Goddell can figure out where all the "A lister" parties are being held and how to get himself invited. He's knows they always have the best "toot".
  3. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods.
    Staff Member

    Feb 17, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Did I miss it or did they say how fans will be able to access the info?
  4. soulman

    soulman Coordinator
    DBS Writer

    Oct 14, 2004
    Likes Received:

    Sniff! Why would they make this available to mere peasants like the fans?

    We'll get after they figure out how to make a buck selling it.:badmood:
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. shark86x

    shark86x Pro-Bowler

    Feb 15, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Maybe Martysaurus misread this article and put the chip ON his shoulder....
    • Funny Funny x 1

Share This Page

  • About Us was founded in 1996. In 2005 it was created into a site for the fans of the Chicago Bears. We have become the biggest fan websites with over 10,000 members and climbing! We reformatted the site in 2013, to it's current layout. We are NOT Affiliated with the NFL, or Chicago Bears. We are a website of hardcore fans! Thanks for checking us out and come back often. We are the voice of Bears fans!
  • Quick Navigation

    Open the Quick Navigation

  • Buy us a Beer!

    The publisher works very hard to make sure the community is running the best software, best designs, and all the other bells and whistles. We have a pretty robust server, and more comes out of my pocket than you would imagine. Care to buy us a beer? We'd really appreciate it! After all, belonging to this is awesome, and it's free! I'm glad to foot the bill, but I do appreciate any help to keep the lights on. Become a Super Fan!