VFX Zebra Technologies helps NFL to get quantified stats using RFID -

Zebra Technologies helps NFL to get quantified stats using RFID

The NFL is making a move to integrate Radio-frequency identification (RFID) – based activity -tracking tech to give fans, coaches and players more information about what exactly athletes go through during each game. The Zebra Technologies tracker systems will mount to player shoulder pads and communicate with receivers installed in 17 stadiums during the 2014 season. They will provide information about each player’s position, speed, distance travelled, acceleration and more.

Zebra’s system will provide real-time analytics that can even offer information. This info will be used for real-time information streams piped to fans watching at home on TV, as well as for teams themselves, who can make use of the data to change game strategy on the field and evolve their game over time.

More data could lead to big changes in the way the game is played, as teams increasingly rely on data-gathering sensors instead of imperfect powers of human observation. One can easily see how this might be used to fuel the development of second screen apps and experiences that sync with live football broadcasts.

Football has always been the professional sport seemingly most open to adopting new tech advances, so it isn’t surprising to see this partnership hit the NFL first in terms of US pro athletics. It’ll be interesting to see how this catches on in other fields, too, and also how it changes stats-driven fan activities like fantasy football and video games, each of which have extremely dedicated fan followings.