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Microsoft Technology

NFL Players To Use Tablet Computers During Games 107

Posted by samzenpus
from the angry-birds-penalty dept.
An anonymous reader writes A $400 million partnership between the NFL and Microsoft that replaces the old method of studying opponents from the sidelines using printed black-and-white photos with tablet computers is just one of the hi-tech upgrades to the NFL this year. From the article: "The referees are also going wireless so they can talk with each other without huddling, and coaches will sport new Bose headsets. But the appearance of Microsoft Surface tablets marks the first time players and coaches can legally use such electronic devices on the field during the game. The tablets will come into play for the first time Sunday night, when the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills play in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio."
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NFL Players To Use Tablet Computers During Games

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  • How long before ... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by vlad30 (44644) on Monday August 04, 2014 @05:30AM (#47597971)
    they are hacked/cracked and the outcome of the game is changed
  • Already uses an ipad to keeep videos iof various other wide receivers.
    A local news show reported on it.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      up until now, however, use of such electronics or computers was not allowed at games.. with the exception of the headsets for communications between sidelines and coaches booth, and actual real photographs taken 'upstairs' then delivered to sidelines.

    • by Bazman (4849)

      I can't hear the phrase "wide receiver" without thinking of goatse...

  • Push vs pull (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 04, 2014 @05:43AM (#47598029)

    Pull: NFL wants something, shops around, buys a product
    Push: Microsoft wants to promote something, shops around, finds someone to 'buy' it (in the sense its called a partnership and the balance of money transfers will result in Microsoft paying out).

    So this $400 million partnership is unlikely to be $400 million, given its a few sideline cameras and a couple of dozen surface tablets. More likely it's a $40 million sponsorship deal for the NFL to promote Microsoft Surface Tablets.

    • by ruir (2709173)
      I wonder how many of them will be using iPads secretly, kinda like in corporations where they have their Windows issued crap-mobile, and the iPhone on the side.
      • by hibiki_r (649814)

        Many, if not all NFL teams, already issue ipads to players to hold the playbook and film clips: Before you had to hand players tapes every week, and update the playbook, which used to be a big binder where you had to switch pages in and out.

        What they are talking about replaces the binders with pictures of previous plays that you can see quarterbacks check on any TV broadcast. I guess that now that it's digitized, instead of stills, they'll get a video feed from the all-22 camera, and some way for the offens

        • I guess that now that it's digitized, instead of stills, they'll get a video feed from the all-22 camera, and some way for the offensive coordinator, up above, to send bookmarks to the players on the side of the field.

          It was a specific requirement from NFL that the tablets will *only* display stills. The tablets can be used instead of the present fax/photos. They actually have fax machines printing black/white images.

          The NFL prohibits use of open tablets and other forms of technological gadgets at the sideline. The reason they give is that the team with the best *players* and team dynamics should win the game, not the team with the best *technology* (the reason why we don't like doping either: We want the best athlete to

  • by Dan Askme (2895283) on Monday August 04, 2014 @06:02AM (#47598111)

    Next year in NFL:
    - Start is removed. The game starts when a player can run through 20 squares of pointlessness to find the same option.
    - Ball is replaced with a square cube. Showing adverts from Microsoft
    - NFL fans are now forced to upgrade their TV's to support StupidX 12.0. They cant watch it otherwise.

    Oh i so could go on for a long time, but, dinners ready, and, i really couldnt give a shit about either company :)

  • Players now will use the new iGlove and the third base coach will b a Netgear R6250.... Play ball ! Sort of.
  • This is really awesome from a tech/biz perspective AND an employment perspective I hope y'all realize...

    I can just picture the job descriptions from NFL teams (and college too of course)

    > game programmer (to make their simulations)
    > database coder (idk what they'd use to store play data from both practice and games to use for the simulations, and what language they'd use to call it and present it on the tablet, but figuring all this shit out...linking the data table of plays to the user's screen will

    • by swb (14022)

      I think the major sports leagues are already more sophisticated than you think.

      I read someplace that major league baseball has some kind of video database where you can call up any player and see them hit, field, etc. They're so obsessive about coding the video that they enter fan signs the cameras focus on.

    • Aw crap!

      The NFL will be laying off the 32 folks like my mom who run the aerial photographs down to the field.

      Gotta run. I can tell by the tone of her footsteps on the stairs she's gonna be on one of those "Get a job" rants.

      • by mythosaz (572040)

        Your mom is a fax machine? ...because that's how they send down the photos.

        • I will concede she occasionally sounds like R2D2 through the cellar door, but that could just be the Red Bull talking.
    • how in the world could someone mod my comment a "troll"???

      this has to be personal but i cant imagine someone taking the time...

      honestly, my above comment may be, in your opinion, stupid...but it's just a genuine comment...I'm stoked for us to get good jobs

  • I mean, can Linux do this?

  • Bury the lede (Score:5, Informative)

    by jamesl (106902) on Monday August 04, 2014 @06:57AM (#47598311)

    It's really about Xbox. From the linked article ...

    Microsoft is getting some free TV advertising by outfitting the tablets with sky-blue cases clearly labeled "Surface." But Microsoft's main motivation is what the Redmond, Wash., company receives from its partnership with the NFL: a reported $400 million, five-year deal. That includes interactive content to help sell Xbox home video game consoles.

    [ ... ]

    When the regular season starts, Microsoft's Xbox Live network will offer services that include video feeds of game highlights and fantasy football data. Xbox owners will also gain access to NFL Sunday Ticket, the league's package of out-of-market game telecasts that was previously available only to DirecTV satellite service subscribers.

    http://www.sfgate.com/technolo... [sfgate.com]

    • Sunday Ticket on Xbox is a big deal. I wonder what they will charge for it.
    • That's funny. I had not read the linked story and up to this point I had assumed that it was Microsoft that was paying $400M. What kind of a deal is that? Microsoft is getting a lot of publicity, telecast rights and video game content with a lot more money that a few thousand tablets should cost. Not to mention that their "market share" will seem to go up with this deal, which I'm sure they're desperate for at the moment.

  • I'm shocked, really. Tablets and wireless communication aren't exactly the pinnacle of human achievement right now. Get back to me when they do something innovative.
  • bad idea (Score:2, Funny)

    by PopeRatzo (965947)

    NFL Players To Use Tablet Computers During Games

    Won't they get broken with all the shoving and tackling? They better get some good screen protectors.

    But you know who won't be using tablet computers during games? Hockey players. Because hockey players are the goddamn honey badgers of sport. Last year, a hockey player died on the friggin' bench, and they revived him and he went back into the game. Some player for Boston, the big Serb, I think, hooked a guy with his stick, on purpose, from behind right in

    • Minor correction: Rich Peverley hasn't played since his heart failure during the game in March. Rumor has it, though, that when he woke up in the hospital, he asked how much time was left in the period and wanted to get back on the ice.
  • Wow. (Score:4, Funny)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Monday August 04, 2014 @08:14AM (#47598599) Homepage Journal

    Neat idea, but shouldn't they be concentrating on the game and not playing "Learning my ABCs with Mickey"?
  • by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Monday August 04, 2014 @08:42AM (#47598739)

    A $400 million partnership between the NFL and Microsoft... coaches will sport new Bose headsets...

    News flash! News flash!

    Microsoft expected to buy Bose in order to counter the Apple-Beats deal!

  • You'll see coaches drawing up plays on them, players watching replays on them, even when they're not using them you can see them tucked away in a pocket on the bench showing the live broadcast. Not sure why the NFL has to be stuck with still pictures. I'm also not sure why the NFL has to use tablets to show those pictures when they could just print the HD color pictures. And doesn't $400M seem like a bit much? Ramble ramble ramble ramble....
    • by s122604 (1018036)
      400M is a bit much, but then again it's the NFL which is the most well run sport (in the business sense, ethically notsomuch) in the US and possibly the world.. They have more money than they know what to do with...
  • by Trailer Trash (60756) on Monday August 04, 2014 @09:20AM (#47598947) Homepage

    Microsoft has sold more than one Surface tablet! This will show up in the annual report next year: "Somebody bought Surface tablets!"

  • by DaveM753 (844913) on Monday August 04, 2014 @10:09AM (#47599239)

    Could this be the year for Surface on the tablet??

    This is so putrid. During every game this year, viewers are going to see a few scripted moments where a bunch of players/coaches will be standing around with their tablets and the TV commentators will discuss how marvelous/innovative the Surface tablets are. But during the rest of the game, watch closely: along the sidelines you will very rarely see anyone using their tablets

    At some point during the season, a referee will make a controversial ruling after reviewing a replay using a Surface tablet (again, scripted moment).

    But that's okay. I'll be watching not-the-NFL.

    • by Nidi62 (1525137)

      But during the rest of the game, watch closely: along the sidelines you will very rarely see anyone using their tablets

      Of course you won't, because right now you rarely see images of everyone looking at the photos anyway. But that's what these will be used for. If you are actually at a game, look at the sidelines and you will see an assistant coach by the bench holding a thick 3-ring binder. These binders hold photos taken from the coaches booth near the press box and show the other team in different alignments. With tablets allowed on the sidelines, instead of having someone run off a bunch of photos they can just be p

      • by mythosaz (572040)

        I'm not sure what games you watch, but I see receives, ends and backs holding a dozen or so faxes stapled into a book after nearly every change of possession.

        Maybe the camera crews on the B-game just like the sidelines more, or maybe you're just watching RedZone, I dunno - but skill players holding those packets of faxes is damned common.

    • They will get used a lot. I worked on the sidelines of the Bears one season and was amazed that they could only look at still photos (though if you flip through them, it practically looks like video).

      This is a very natural progression to the game, and something that should have been done long ago. The whole MS/Surface/blah stuff is obviously marketing added on (why not if the nfl can make a buck or get a discount on the devices?). But I guarantee you that players will be glued to these things. Getting real-

  • Remember that the NFL only permits teams to look at still images, they do not allow video. So even when using the tablet, they can only browse still images on it. The old paper print outs are still available and will be used 99%+ of the time anyway, because you can't see the tablet screen in bright sunlight.
  • ... is going to be those clipboards the coaches use to obstruct the view of their lips when they talk.

    We don't want people with binoculars zooming in on the tablets, right?

  • by Scottingham (2036128) on Monday August 04, 2014 @10:55AM (#47599655)
    I haven't heard of this 'football' sport. I think they're referring to Head-Brick: http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id... [smbc-comics.com]
  • Gloves? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by erp_consultant (2614861) on Monday August 04, 2014 @11:45AM (#47600099)

    Most of the NFL players wear gloves these days (aside from quarterbacks - but some of them use gloves too). Did anyone test if the tablets work when you are wearing gloves? Gloves that might have mud on them? Just sayin'

  • Many broken surface tablets from frustration.
    Sitting at home, comfortable, I've come perilously close to destroying my windows 8 tablet a few times. The annoyance factor is huge.
    Unless it's an ap with a big "push me for more info" button

  • Be it a cell phone or Camera, at first I and others found humor in the question, but the more I think bout it the more sense it makes.

    Case in point, your not going to wear in on your waist during a football game. -My new phone I even asked for a shoulder holster for my new phone as it's large and prone to gravity thefts. Yes they found humor in it as well but I'll be looking for a nice comfortable one in the mean time.

  • I'm just pondering a waterproof case and or something to keep them warm in the cold snowy climate games

  • The devices will be locked in a temperature-controlled cart between games to prevent any team from manipulating the information.

    Huh? How is temperature control going to prevent manipulation?

  • First, football is not a sport and the goons on the sidelines with their fat headsets are already looking ridiculous. Now they add tablets to the mix? From what I read the coaches found that the Surface tablets are not working and are useless. My suggestion is to ditch all that tech gear, take the helmet and padding off the players, and then play a real team sport...which would be rugby. Rugby is also much less prone to major injuries and that should allow playing more than the 16 games a season.

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