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SBD/August 4, 2014/Media
NFL Introduces Tablets To Sidelines, But Some Issues Arise During First Usage
Published August 4, 2014
INS & OUTS: In L.A., Clay Fowler notes two pictures per play -- "one just before the snap and one after the play is over -- are all the league allows." In a matter of seconds after the play, images "will appear on the tablets." Coaches "can 'favorite' an image and send it into its own folder to be quickly accessed at another time." Considering the "secrecy involved with game-planning, the devices will be maintained on a closed network operated by a neutral party -- the NFL -- in order to assure security" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 8/3). NBC's Michelle Tafoya last night during the Giants-Bills game noted coaches now can "zoom in, zoom out, illustrate over them, you can mark favorites that you can use later in the game" (Giants-Bills, NBC, 8/3). The photos can be tagged, expanded, shrunk or affixed with written notes using a telestrator. The digital color photos expand well beyond the binders of printed black-and-white play photographs traditionally used on the sidelines. The tablets themselves will have custom protective cases and tougher screens designed to withstand outdoor elements. The digital photo effort has been under development since Microsoft and the NFL signed their broad-based technology partnership in May ’13 (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer).