NFL replays will be a lot more fun this season, thanks to RFID chips in players’ shoulder pads

NFL football
The NFL is about to get a lot geekier. This season, every NFL player will have RFID chips embedded in his shoulder pads. The data gleaned from that wireless tracking technology will be displayed in video game-like format in the NFL 2015 app for the Xbox One and Windows 10.

This plan is the expected expansion of an endeavor that began last year, when Zebra Technologies outfitted 18 NFL stadiums with RFID systems, with broadcasters as the intended beneficiaries of the resulting data and statistics (e.g., a player’s real-time speed, distance, and direction). The chips inserted in players’ shoulder pads will yield data that will be fed into the “Next Gen Stats” feature of the NFL 2015 app on Microsoft platforms, according to Wired.

This part of the app, which will launch in late August, displays a dashboard, where each player will appear as a simple digital avatar on a virtual football field alongside a live replay of a highlight play. The shoulder pad chips will feed each player’s speed at each moment of a play along with the actual play-specific or total game yardage a running back has run. Users will also be able to toggle between players on the field in this “Next Gen Replay.”

There’s also a mini-game within the Next Gen Replay feature called “NGS Pick’em,” which lets users predict 8-10 players they think will run the fastest or most during a game. Another feature called “Afterburner” spotlights the fastest players in the NFL.

As soon as a highlight clip is posted to NFL.com, the Xbox NFL app will have Next Gen Replay ready for users to enjoy, according to Todd Stevens, executive producer at Microsoft.

“We will tie Next Gen Stats into every replay that comes into the Xbox,” Stevens said. “Replays like a one-yard touchdown run, you don’t really need Next Gen Stats. But some of these plays, like a long pass play, are truly spectacular. We wanted to give them a bit of special sauce.”

Smart Home

Vector, the engaging Alexa-like robot, is ready to roam around your home

Anyone who has ever watched Short Circuit or WALL-E has surely dreamed about having a robot buddy come live with them. Finally, that dream is now a reality. It's name is Vector, and it's available now.
Home Theater

They’re not just for gaming: Watch Blu-rays on the Xbox One S and Xbox One X

While the Xbox One S and Xbox One X boost the visuals of your games, they also can pull double-duty as Blu-ray players, but there's a bit of set up needed. Need help? Here's our guide on how to watch Blu-rays on the Xbox One S and X.
Gaming

These are the best Xbox One games out right now

More than four years into its lifespan, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Home Theater

From game consoles to 4K UHD spinners, these are the best Blu-ray players

Streaming may be popular, but the disc isn't dead yet! To get the very best picture and sound quality from your system, you need to be watching Blu-ray or 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. Here are the best Blu-ray players you can buy right now.
Movies & TV

Never miss a moment of the NBA season with our streaming guide

The NBA season is in full swing, and if you want to watch games online, you've got plenty of options. Here's our guide to the best ways to watch NBA games online, as well as some additional resources.
Emerging Tech

Ekster 3.0 lets you ask, ‘Alexa, where did I leave my wallet?’

Ekster's newest smart wallet is its best yet. It's slimmer than ever, boasts a neat card-dispensing mechanism, and will even let you know where it is, thanks to smart speaker integration.
Emerging Tech

Light-swallowing room promises Call of Duty fans the blackest of ops

What's it like to be in a room fully painted with the world's darkest material, Vantablack? The makers of one of the year's top video games teamed up with Vantablack scientists to find out.
Emerging Tech

Johns Hopkins’ lab-grown human retina could lead to big insights

Scientists from Johns Hopkins University have successfully grown human retina tissue from scratch in a lab. The work could help with the development of new therapeutics related to eye diseases.
Wearables

Skydio’s self-flying drone now has an Apple Watch app for flight prep

Skydio's clever R1 autonomous drone now has its own Apple Watch app, making flight preparations simpler than ever. The $2,000 flying machine is now also selling at its first retail outlet — Apple Stores in North America.
Emerging Tech

Are e-cigarettes safe? Here’s what the most recent science says

Ecigarettes are widely regarded and advertised as a healthier alternative to cigarettes for people who are trying to kick the smoking habit. How safe are these cigarette alternatives? We went deep into the recent scientific literature to…
Emerging Tech

Scientists created a condom that self-lubricates during sex. You’re welcome

Researchers from Boston University have invented a special coating for condoms which make them respond to bodily fluids by becoming more slippery. Here's how their new breakthrough works.
Emerging Tech

You’re so vein: Palm-based biometric system could help confirm your identity

Move over, Face ID! The next biometric security systems could rely on analyzing the unique vein patterns in your palm print. Here are some of the ways the technology could prove useful.
Emerging Tech

For only $4,950, you can get jetpack lessons from the world’s only instructor

Have you ever dreamed of flying using a jetpack? JetPack Aviation founder -- and the world's only qualified jetpack teacher -- David Mayman is now offering a day of flight instruction.
Emerging Tech

Biologists have found a hormone that could make space farming possible

Researchers have shown how space farming may be possible. By encouraging plants to excrete a certain hormone, they’ve demonstrated that crops can thrive despite challenging conditions, such as low-nutrient soil and microgravity.