If you place sports wagers, you’ve seen the advancements in technology made by the sports betting industry. From the speed at which an NFL lines is set across sportsbooks around the world to the growth of live betting, online betting, and having the power of a full-service sportsbook in the palm of your hand.
In the field of play, the technology of the NFL is also always changing and always improving.
There was a time when a quarterback would come off the field and look at black and white photos of the defensive formations. He’d sit with a coach, and from a grainy printed photograph, try to diagnose why something worked on offense or didn’t work.
Now each bench is furnished with a tablet computer that calls up high-resolution color photos as soon as the quarterback picks it up. He can easily scroll through the available plays, seeing in instantaneous detail why something went right or something went wrong.
Players and coaches can zoom in, make annotations that can be viewed by other coaches and players and can better make quick and more accurate adjustments.
Headsets have been used by coaches for decades, and the very first time a player used a radio in a helmet to communicate with his coach was in 1956.
That was banned at the time but has since become allowed and standardized by the league. The idea is that it speeds up the game since players don’t need to read signals from the sideline or run over to the coach to get the play. Coaches can now talk directly to the quarterback to call the play, up until there are 15 seconds left on the play clock. At that point, the audio goes silent.
The helmets that come with the speakers to hear the coach are designated with a green sticker. Only the quarterback gets a speaker on offense, and one player gets a speaker on defense.
Coaches can also speak to one another, including any assistant coaches that are sitting high up in the press box to get a bird’s eye view of the field.
Referees also now wear communication devices that allow them to speak to each other, as well as league officials in New York that are watching the game on television. Tablets are also now used for instant replay to help speed up that process.
The most important advancements in new NFL technologies are those that aid in player safety.
Artificial intelligence is used to track every player’s speed, location, and acceleration, which helps in diagnosing which types of plays cause the most injuries. They also use that technology to simulate thousands of plays, in all types of environments, with different sets of protective equipment to better understand how injuries can be prevented.
The NFL also collects data from all games from dozens of camera angles, plus sensors that are placed in shoulder pads, mouthguards, and helmets, and has combined that with a huge injury database. And based on that information, they have developed new helmets and other safety equipment to reduce the frequency of concussions and other serious injuries.