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Football Fans: Gotta know about chips inside NFL's new footballs

Football Fans: Gotta know about chips inside NFL's new footballs
© Dean Bertoncelj | Dreamstime

Ahh...fall is finally upon us, can you feel it? The weather is cooling down, the leaves are changing color and the heat of the summer is finally gone. It's really a great time of year.

But my favorite thing about fall is that football is back. I seriously look forward to football season all year and this season is being blitzed with some serious new technology.

How technology is boosting the NFL experience

What we're talking about are coin-sized radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips that are embedded into NFL footballs and players' equipment. The chips come from Zebra Technologies and provide fans with a plethora of statistics.

During every NFL game this season you have the opportunity to learn about intricate details like never before. For example, when a team simply punts the ball away you can find out who kicked it, the speed at which the ball traveled as well as the speed of the runner returning the kick.

In the past, if a team scored on a 65-yard touchdown pass, it would only say that in the box score. Now, with embedded chips, you can learn if the ball only traveled 15 yards in the air before being caught and the receiver had 50 yards-after-catch (YAC). It also provides data like rotation and speed of the ball during flight.

Who knows? This type of data could be incorporated into fantasy football in the near future. Click anywhere on the screen in the following video to see a demonstration of how the chips work.

The NFL has been testing RFID chips since 2015. It's finally a reality and there could be more to come.

The league is currently testing chips embedded in pylons and measuring sticks to better determine the spot of the ball and to see if it breaks the plane of the goal line for a score. Zebra Technologies is also looking to implement these chips into NCAA football games down the road.

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