As the season kicks off this year, you’ll once again have the chance to see how our unique technology partnership with the NFL is continuing to change the game. Surface was, of course, part of the game last season. You likely saw players and coaches picking up the Surface Pro 2 devices in the bright blue rugged cases to review plays during games. While every Surface Pro device can run virtually any desktop application as well as any app from the Windows store, they can also be managed and deployed for a single purpose. In the case of the NFL these devices ran one proprietary application – the Sideline Viewing System. This customized app allowed players and coaches to review and markup color still images rather than rely on the printed black and white photos used in the past, allowing them to make on-field adjustments much faster than they could with the paper system. It was a great step towards using technology to review plays and make decisions in real time.
This year, you’ll see new Surface Pro 3s in action on the sidelines and they are bigger, lighter, and brighter than ever before. They will of course still perform in all the rigors of the NFL environment, like heat, cold, and rain, but we’ve added some new features to the application in response to feedback we received last year.
Surface Pro 3 with the Surface Sideline Viewing System (SVS) will offer up the following new features:
- The Surface Pen can now mark-up plays in four different colors
- Marked-up plays can be saved to individual profiles for easy reference allowing coaches and players to access their individual notes from any Surface
- Addition of a whiteboard for sketching plays
- Increased daylight readability thanks to the amazing Surface Pro 3 screen, which is brighter and has more contrast
And continue to provide these features enabled last season:
- Near-real time access immediately after a play series for review
- Multiple profile settings allow for each coach and player to customize how they look at the plays
- Access to the entire games play series for quick reference of the entire game
- Ruggedized cases to allow for use on the sideline regardless of game conditions
In addition to utilizing Surface on the sidelines on game day, NFL teams are also integrating Surface devices throughout many facets of their business and football operations. The Beneath the Surface video series which launched this morning takes a deeper look at how Surface is impacting the game for NFL organizations – from players, to coaches, to front office, to scouts, to IT personnel and more. Hear from players such as Drew Brees and Russell Wilson how they’re using Surface Pro devices to stay on top of their game, as well as from scouts and video directors who rely on the Surface every day to perform their heavily tech-dependent jobs. This 10-episode web series launches today with the first four episodes: All-pro Versatility, MVP Performance, Trusted Apps & Software, and Enterprise Ready. Stay tuned for more installments in the coming weeks to get a behind-the-scenes look at the role of Surface in and around the League.
As our unique technology partnership continues to grow with the NFL, you’ll see us continually striving to innovate on the technology front with the NFL as they lead the charge for where the game can go. For example, you can reach out to the NFL to hear what the possibility of video play review on the sidelines looks like as well as a Surface utilized for Instant Replay.