If you’re a fan of the NFL, you’d know that players and coaches stare at printed pictures of replays and call plays from laminated sheets of paper. Yes, even now. No more though — the NFL just announced a partnership with Microsoft that will let coaches and officials use Microsoft Surface on the sidelines instead.
Teams previously used printed Polaroid images to show replays on the sideline. It was effective but terribly out of date. Using a tablet makes a lot more sense now, but it will be hilarious when giant cyborg-looking athletes struggle to get the damn touchscreen to work.
We’ve seen teams try to use the iPad as a playbook before (it has been growing in popularity), and this partnership with Microsoft won’t stop teams from using iPads either. According to Darren Rovell, teams can still use iPads for playbooks as long as they cover up the Apple logo. Coaches will use the Surface tablet for replays while there will be Microsoft branding on the replay booth that officials look into. [BusinessWeek]