NFL players have always been somewhat superhuman when it comes to their abilities. From their size to their speed, these behemoths have always pushed the boundaries in terms of the human physique. Thanks to Zebra Technologies MotionWorks RFID system, we’re just starting to now realize just how much they do really push themselves.
Last year, the company used the RFID system in 18 stadiums to track vector data, such as distance, direction traveled in games and even a player’s speed, all in real time. This year, the whole process is going to be kicked up a notch as every player in the NFL will be making use of this monitoring service.
Placed in players’ shoulder pads, viewers at home will be able to take advantage of the monitoring in the redesigned NFL 2015 app for both the Xbox One and Windows 10. NFL viewers and fans will be able to use the feature called Next Gen Stats that will turn each player into a digital avatar. Users will then be able to take advantage of “Next Gen Replay.”
The replay will work in conjunction with a highlight clip uploaded shortly after it happens in the game, and viewers will be able to monitor speed, yardage a running back may run, and so on. Viewers will also be able to toggle between players on the field. Users will even be able to check out the blow-by-blow action of that long pass, game changing play.
“We will tie Next Gen Stats into every replay that comes into the Xbox,” says Todd Stevens, Executive Producer at Microsoft. “Replays like a one-yard touchdown run, you don’t really need Next Gen Stats. But some of these plays, like a long pass play, are truly spectacular. We wanted to give them a bit of special sauce.”
Rather than just highlight plays, the new Xbox app will focus on players, and it’s poised to launch later this month. It will also have a special section called Afterburner highlighting the fastest of players. There will be even more special player-highlight collections planned for the feature, including a top playmaker highlight.
While the task of monitoring distance, position and speed of 22 different players in a highlight clip at any given time might seem like a daunting task, Stevens stated that as soon as the clip hits NFL.com, the Xbox NFL app will have all the information for each video ready to go.
“The only thing that keeps us from having it instantaneous is the human element to cutting the highlight,” Stevens says. “If somebody in Culver City for the NFL has to edit the highlight, as soon as it hits NFL.com we get it, and we can tie in the data instantaneously. We have all the data as the game is being played. You could see the little position graphics live. There are complications to showing that, but it’s something I think we’ll end up trying to do in the future.”
There’s also another competitive element added to the app. There’s a mini-game called NSG Pick’em. Pick’em will allow users to choose between 8-10 players who the user thinks will run the fastest in the game. While the stat monitoring will excite the most enthusiastic sports fan — or those with fantasy football teams — there are other features in the redesigned NFL app that will entice fans.
Users will be able to roll their own customized sports ticker, add pop-up notifications for specific games, teams or even two fantasy football teams hosted on either CBS, ESPN, NFL.com or Yahoo. A pop-up will come up on the bottom of the screen alerting you to a number of items including when a fantasy team sores or a new highlight clip being ready. Select the notification and it will come up in snap view, allowing you to continue watching the game without interruption.
“Our focus was to make this the best gameday experience,” says Stevens. “It’s super-simple to customize and slide in and out of things without missing any of the game. You hit one button and you go into that snap view, another button and I’m back in full screen.”
The app should be available around the time of preseason, week three. The kicker is, these new features will be available to everyone free of charge.
Will you use these handy new features? Let us know in the comments section below or on any of our social media accounts below.Source: Wired