Sunday, September 20, 2015


The NFL is implementing a new RFID tracking system into the players shoulder pads this season to help track the movement of players, as well as to track the speed and distance traveled. This technology developed by Zebra Technologies, based in San Jose California, is accurate up to a few inches. The NFL says they believe that this will help impact fan participation, team practicing methods, and potentially the in game strategy.
            Other areas in which this technology, also known as geo-fencing, will affect the public is through fantasy football as well as Microsoft is planning to take the data and use it in their Xbox One, and even in gambling.  This technology is already being used in companies such as the US Department of Agriculture to track the movements of livestock, and in hospitals to track the medical equipment within the hospital itself. However, Disney has been using this technology for a few years with their “magicband”. With this they are able to track the movement of traffic throughout the parks as well as what people eat, when they eat, and other things such as routes people take to get back to their hotels. Multiple Fortune 500 companies have said that they are waiting to see how this technology works in the NFL and would consider using it in their workplaces to figure out how to make employees more efficient as well as monitor movement and other aspects of the workplace.
            I believe that this technology is useful in many areas of business and security matters, however I am not entirely sure how I feel about the implementation of this tech in the workplace. I believe that the NFL using it could help in making the game more strategic in the future as well as improve the gaming industry by providing more data to developers such as EA Sports to help towards the development of future installments of games like Madden. Where we will see the largest/most immediate affect of this however will be in the gambling sphere of Vegas. RFID is a very important technology that can be very useful and provided a lot of data, however the use of the data is what needs to be monitored and kept in check. I understand companies wanting to use it for security purposes such as how hospitals use it to keep track of equipment and important medical material. However, The privacy of the individual needs to also be kept in mind as well.
            In short, the article, posted on by David Kravits, seems to be more of an informative article about the technology and its uses in the NFL and other areas rather than talking about the moral uses of the technology and how it could be looked at as a bit of a big brother (1984) type of technology. 

 work cited:
 Kravets, David. "How the NFL—not the NSA—is Impacting Data Gathering Well beyond the Gridiron." N.p., 13 Sept. 2015. Web. 20 Sept. 2015.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely agree that the NFL’s usage of RFID chips within player’s shoulder pads could be seen as a form of “big brother” technology. It is evident that this form of technology could impact the NFL in more ways than one. However, I believe there is one aspect of using the RFID chip that the article neglected to explore. I think that the largest aspect of using the chip to track players’ speed and formations would be for scouting purposes. A huge part of analyzing free agents in the NFL is determining the overall athleticism of a player and the RFID chip is perfect for this. The chip could be used to track players throughout their entire careers and show changes in a player’s speed and elusiveness on the field as they get older. Coaches and general managers will now be able to analyze the data from these chips which will be very helpful when looking at veteran players. Seeing the track changes of a player’s speed throughout his career is definitely something that could impact a contract, especially as players age. All in all, I think the RFID chips will be a great addition to the NFL’s technology, and more importantly an asset to the coaching staffs of their 32 teams.


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