(NBC News) — Football fever is heating up icy Minneapolis as fans gear up for the big game, but behind all that beer and under all that gear there’s a lot of technology powering the NFL operation.
Each NFL football is made by hand, and inside is a tiny high-tech chip tracks every play and pass.
“We had to develop a chip that was light enough, and could be placed in the ball that wouldn’t affect the weight or the flight integrity of the ball,” says Zebra Technologies’ John Pollard.
There are also chips embedded in the players’ shoulder pads, gathering information that powers “next gen stats” during the game.
The RFID chips are about the size of a nickel and are embedded in every players pads. They track speed and location, and it’s important in football they’re durable. They’re impact proof and waterproof.
The data is able to reach fans and coaches in under three seconds.
Real-time technology extends to the sidelines, where coaches can use Microsoft surface tablets to make key decisions faster.
Connectivity between the devices makes the process of reviews and play communication more efficient as well.
“No white boards, no paper, as long as you have the surface you don’t need books, you don’t need anything,” says Minnesota Vikings Executive Vice President of Football Operations Rob Brzezinksi.
Off the field, fans can find a stadium seat with StubHub augmented reality.
In the stadium fans can get delivery on demand with the NFL Super Bowl app.
“Fans inside U.S. Bank Stadium will have the ability to order merch right to their seat,” says Vikings Vice President of Corp Technology Partnerships John Penhollow.
But you still won’t be able to use your phone to get in the door. The only Super Bowl tickets are physical ones.
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