Every NFL uniform has changed this year, although not so’s you’d know it by looking. As of the start of the 2015 season, every player’s uniform includes two RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) sensors, about an inch in diameter, embedded in right and left shoulder pads.
In addition, every NFL stadium is now has receivers that pick up the unique player frequencies, tracking in real time players’ position, speed, distance covered and acceleration, as well as the direction in which the player is facing.
The technology for all this comes from Zebra Technologies who provided RTLS (Real-Time Location System) for 14 of the 31 NFL stadiums during the 2014 season. In 2013, Zebra launched MotionWorks Sports Solution, an active RFID technology to track players’ movement and performance on the field. Zebra is also known for the company’s Location Solutions and GEA Farm Technologies partnership that provides RTLS for tracking farm cattle.
Big animals, large humans in action? Sounds like a perfect crossover for an RTLS system. Head ‘em up, rawhide!