New NFL technology keeps tabs on player performance

New NFL technology keeps tabs on player performance

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Technology to track NFL players' position, speed and distance in a game was developed in Chicago.

The next generation statistics technology will be used in the upcoming season.

NFL players are fast, but exactly how fast? The new tech inside their shoulder pads will not only let the league know, but the fans as well.

Phil Gerskovich is the Senior Vice President of Zebra Technologies based in suburban Lincolnshire.

"It can give you real time statistics information for use about each player in the field," Gerskovich said. "Where are they, how fast they've been running, what's their acceleration; how fast they're decelerating. But, really excitingly it can also be used in real time as broadcast overlay information on the video feed."

The technology took 5 years to perfect.

The sensors are about the size of a quarter. One is placed on each of the shoulders of every player. It sends a signal to receivers placed throughout NFL stadiums and is collected in real time.

The NFL released the following statement about the collaboration with the Chicago based company: "Zebra's tracking technology will help teams to evolve training, scouting and evaluation through increased knowledge of player performance, as well as provide ways for our teams and partners to enhance the fan experience."

Zebra Technologies has been using sensors like this for some time.

"We've been developing this technology and it's used in industries from automotive to maritime to aerospace for many years. But, that doesn't give a lot of visibility to the technology to the broader world," Gerskovich added.

Starting this season, broadcaster will have the option to show viewers specific routes players are running and even make speed comparisons.

The company added that fans will also be able to use the tech to help select their fantasy football teams. The technology will bring player stats to everyone's fingertips.

Seventeen teams will have the technology at the beginning of this season, including the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers.

The rest of the league will join by the end of the season.

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