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The NFL and the Birth of Next-Gen Stats

By September 26, 2014Technology

The National Football League recently announced its plan to implement a real-time location system (RTLS) for 17 different NFL teams during the 2014 season. They have partnered with Zebra Technologies and the innovative technology will track players and officials by providing location based data known as “next-gen stats” to fans, coaches, teams, and competitors.

The plan of action: Zebra is going to install their receivers throughout the stadiums that will communicate with radio frequency identification (RFID) transmitters that are placed inside the shoulder pads of each player. These RFID chips are able to capture precise location measurements during the game.

The technology will be collecting statistics on that player’s position on the field, their speed, and distance traveled, which will all be registered and compiled into each stadium’s personal database. From all of the data collected, this technology enables the NFL to accurately capture real-time player tracking statistics, giving viewers immediate insight into the action on the field. And dare I mention, allowing fantasy football fans the ability to determine which players perform better in given circumstances. This is a definite game-changer.

This partnership will be the first time that technology is going to enable the NFL to test player tracking in-game, and will be the broadest deployment of a system to date. Now, we just need the app to download on our phones so we can truly track Tom Brady’s every move. Sadly, ladies, he won’t be showing up on your doorstep like your recently ordered package!

To read more about what teams are participating, see this article.