Contrary to recent belief, the Surface tablets are in fact helping NFL teams be more effective. If you watched this weekends playoff game between the Patriots and Broncos, then you may of heard of the outage the Surface tablets suffered in the sidelines.
While this outage may have been reported as the device itself failing, we have since come to know that was not the case. As is the case with any network connected device, the stadiums network went down rendering the Surface tablets useless for sending information or real time pictures of plays for the sideline coaches. This was also reported by the NFL themselves after the game.
To further dispel any notions of inadequate technology, Microsoft's Corporate VP of the Windows and Devices group, Yusuf Mehdi, wrote an informative blog post about the real truths on Surface and the NFL. To highlight this, here are the facts or reality of Surface and its NFL partnership:
- Microsoft Surface has never failed in 2 years with the NFL: This is a pretty amazing stat and one that should shed some light on the amazing work Microsoft has done on the Surface lineup. Since the beginning of this partnership, Microsoft Surface tablets have logged over 100,000 minutes of sideline use during NFL seasons. During which no single Surface tablet has ever failed, aside from very rare network related issues.
- Surface usage is increasing among NFL teams: Because of this reliability and productivity, more NFL teams are turning to adopt the Surface for critical moments in game review, where seconds count and to become more effective at analyzing information.
- Teams are more effective from the Surface performance: With this ability to instantly send information to coaches through the Surface, NFL teams have become increasingly more effective. Having the ability to immediately review a play in full color images gives teams more in-depth information faster for quicker decision making. Players can also quickly review plays to see when and where adjustments need to be made.
When Microsoft started this idea of partnering with the NFL, it was intended for the company's technology to revolutionize the game by giving players, coaches, assistants, and announcers access to dynamic information almost instantly. For years, the NFL has operated with black and white printed images for play review and/or pen and paper. The Surface introduces ways to understand important plays and decision making, by providing information in dynamic, interactive ways. From full color images, inking abilities on the tablet to the portability of sharing information the Surface gives teams increased efficiency.
With testimonials of the Surface changing the way coaches and players operate on and off the field, to the replacement of entire paper play books with Surface tablets, to the use of Surface in front offices for administrative duties, Microsoft’s partnership is truly paving the way for change in the NFL. In a game where mere seconds can mean the difference between winning and losing, removing the time it takes to review information for game decisions gives teams back those precious moments.