RFID Set To Revolutionize Football

Radio-Frequency Identification’s (RFID) benefits for the retail industry have been garnering a lot of attention, but the technology also has a lot of other useful applications outside of retail. One area in which RFID is poised to make a dramatic difference is football.

RFID is being used to keep track of players’ movements in real time, providing biometric information and next-level data that was previously unavailable.

Zebra Technologies has been working with the NFL since 2014, and its equipment can now be found in every stadium used by the NFL. The system entails placing two tags in the players’ shoulder pads as well as the chains, referees, and pylons. The tags then blink, which sends out information caught by dozens of receivers placed in strategic locations throughout each stadium. The information, which includes distances, speed and other metrics, then goes to the server, where it is passed to its final destination in just a fraction of a second.

Teams Welcoming RFID With Open Arms

The Eagles were one of the first teams in the NFL to sign on to the advanced analytics system, which allows teams access to insightful game-day data that can be used to assess in-game behavior and modify preparations and practices as necessary.

San Francisco 49ers Coach Chip Kelly said that the information provided by the system is exciting and so complete that it can also be overwhelming at times. He added that information on things like change of direction and the number of high-speed yards run is incredibly useful in terms of matching game information with how they conduct their training sessions.

The information gleaned from RFID can also be used for scouting. For example coaches are able to use information about their opponents to create a game plan and find the right matchups. It can also be used to enhance the fan experience, making the sport more enjoyable for players and spectators alike.

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