The NFL preseason kicks off Sunday night with the Hall of Fame game in Canton, and coaches will be using new gadgets on the sidelines for the first time. Thanks to a partnership with Microsoft, the NFL will provide teams with a number of Microsoft Surface tablets that can transmit still photos from the top of the stadium to the sideline, eliminating the need for the usual printed photos and notebooks.
According to the AP, the tablets will be locked in a temperature-controlled cart when not in use and operate on a secure network so no one can hack in and intercept the images. Coaches and players will be able to draw on the tablet, which means that the next generation of broadcasters should be significantly better at telestrating.
According to Engadget, third-party applications have been disabled on the tablets — meaning you won't be seeing any tweets from the sidelines. Teams won't be required to use them if they'd rather stick with the old methods, but the new digital photo-delivery service should be quicker than relying on printed photos.