RFID Chips to Track NFL Players This Season

NFL Will Track Speed Using New RFID Chips

Is your favorite football player the fastest? It’s an argument that’s no doubt happened before, you say that it’s Odell Beckham Jr., while your friend thinks Calvin Johnson still has better speed. And with football arguments getting as intense as they can get, it would be nice to have a way to actually, officially know who the fastest players are. Well, thanks to RFID chips, soon you’ll have statistics to tell you who the fastest players are without just having to rely on the eye test. These RFID chips, developed by Zebra Technologies, will be installed in the shoulder pads of all NFL players this season, and will be used to track the speed and movement of players throughout the game, particularly on big pass plays.

Here’s How RFID Chips Work

It’s a surprisingly simple contraption, really. When the players are on the move, the RFID chips notice and begin sending radio signals out. These radio signals are subsequently picked up by receivers that can be found in each NFL stadium. Once the signals from the RFID chips are picked up, the receivers take the information and, through it, can tell not just the speed of a player, but their direction and their distance traveled in real time.

The Chip Information Can Be Seen In Xbox and Windows Apps

So where will the information of the RFID chips ultimately be seen? If you have Xbox One or Windows 10, you can see the data through the NFL 2015 app. The app has game highlights to watch, and it also has a feature called Next Gen Stats. Next Gen Stats offers a Next Gen Replay, which is where the RFID chips come into play. During the replay, every players’ speed is up for display, and a more accurate measurement of yards gained can be seen. That means you can see exactly how far a running back went, and the exact difference in speed that allowed a wide receiver to blow past a cornerback. Executive Producer at Microsoft Todd Stevens said that this would be available to watch as soon as the highlights hit the app. As the season progresses, a section called Afterburner will become more prominent, as it will highlight the speediest players of the season. The RFID chips allow you to not only see exactly how fast a player was, but who the fastest ones ultimately are. Some football arguments may be put to bed forever with this innovation.