Thanks to a longstanding and successful partnership with Microsoft, the NFL will soon be upgrading to the Surface Pro 3 tablet to be used by all teams on the sidelines during the game. After several years of using the Surface Pro 2, this new tablet is modeled to be much lighter in weight, sleeker, and with a larger screen. The purpose of these tablets is to instantly replay any previous plays, to annotate footage with the use of a stylist pen, and use of a virtual whiteboard to draw up quick plays. Teams have access to 25 of these tablets throughout the course of each game.
During the preseason, referees will even be trying out the tablets in hopes that eventually they will be able to solely use the tablets for instant replays on challenged plays. Referees definitely won’t be the only ones getting extra use: coaches will see an improvement in their gameday work with the new tablets. Instead of relying on calling up to assistants for judgement on replays, they will have access to it right at their fingertips.
This partnership, all in all, has been completely successful for both ends. Microsoft has successfully wrapped their name around the NFL’s while the NFL is swiftly improving the way the game runs and is played. In fact, their newest development in the partnership is an NFL app which would work hand-in-hand with tracking patches in players’ shoulder pads. Talk about technological advancement.