Friday, August 8, 2014

5 Technology Innovations That Are Changing Football

Get out the chips, dip, and brews; preseason football has begun. Soon we’ll see cooler weather, clashing helmets, flags and penalties and…technology? 

That’s right, technology. The century-and-a-half-year-old sport is not immune to innovation, and coming this season, there is some very cool technology making its way into the game. Let’s take a look at 5 innovations that are changing football.


      Riddell is working on a helmet that will help to avoid concussions by minimizing the impact of powerful hits by diffusing the blow and alerting the sideline through sensors.  The new helmet, called Speed Flex, will be rolled out on college fields this fall and may move into other leagues based on the success and reliability of the product.

In as little as a decade, we may even be able to see concussions through medical testing equipment. Concussions aren’t currently viewable on CT scans and many are missed because of this. The athletic and medical communities are making great strides to ensure players’ safety. 


      Tired of waiting in line for your $6 hotdog? NFL fields are creating apps that allow you
to order food right from your seat. If you’re sitting pretty in an expensive seat, your food can be delivered right to you. Otherwise, you have to go to a pickup location.

If you have a front-row seat on the couch at home, there is a new NFL app available to Xbox One and Windows 8 that allows you to personalize your game experience with different teams and players, media choices, and Fantasy Football. 


      Goal-line technology was unveiled during the 2014 World Cup. This method uses a series of high-speed video cameras to track the position of a ball using triangulation and then alerts officials whether the score was good or not. Although designed for tennis, cricket, and soccer, goal-line technology, or Hawk-Eye, could be easily adapted for use in the NFL.

Paul Hawkins, inventor of Hawk-Eye, has been talking to American sports leagues such as the NFL to discuss the possible integration of this technology. Goal-line technology would take out the subjective bias of referees on close calls, something that fans will appreciate. 


      Next Gen Stats, developed by Zebra Technologies, will use real-time location system to track players and officials and collect and provide data such as speed, position, and distance. These pieces of data will be used to generate new reports and statistics that will change coaching, training, and the fans’ game experience. This works through a radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag sewn into players’ jerseys.
“Working with Zebra will give fans, teams, coaches, and players a deeper look into the game they love,” said Vishal Shah, NFL Vice President of Media Strategy.


      Microsoft has partnered with the NFL to provide Surface tablets for coaches and players on the sidelines. Previously, the NFL had used Polaroid pictures or printed sheets with images and information from the play, which took up to 40 seconds to upload. Now, they only have to wait five seconds to receive information from the tablet. The tablets are operating on closed networks to prevent information from being hacked. Coaches and players aren’t Tweeting or taking video of the game, but so far, the Surface tablets have been received well in the football community. 

Safety, statistics, and fan experience seem to be the highest priorities for football innovation currently.  Now that the NFL is using apps, tablets, and concussion technology, who knows what the next few years will bring. 

What impact do you think these advances will have on football? What technology do you think the NFL should adopt?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

How Wearable Tech is Evolving into the Coolest Gadgets Today

With the proliferation of Smartphones and the accompanying drop in prices of data, you can be connected to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Middle school children are demanding iPhones so they are able to text and connect with friends and social media networks, and Baby Boomers share Facetime with grandchildren across the country. A large portion of our society expects to be connected, and they are willing to pay the costs necessary to do so quickly and conveniently. Demand is such that innovators and entrepreneurs have moved into developing ways to connect without the inconvenience of having to hold a Smartphone in your hand. Welcome to the new and ever-expanding world of wearable technology.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

New Tech Innovations at the 2014 World Cup

World Cup Tech Innovations - InventHelp Blog
Outside of the Olympics, the World Cup is the biggest sporting event held globally. The final of the Brazil World Cup 2014 will be watched by at least 1 billion people, and the US has really been paying attention to the action this year with the match between the USA and Ghana being watched by up to 11 million ESPN viewers, a record for the channel. With so much viewership, this is the perfect spot to promote innovation and new product designs. Here are a few you should keep a look out for this year.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Tesla & the Innovation of Alternative Fuel Automobiles

My Kindergarten-age child is learning at school about energy use and the environment. She is quite concerned about our use of the car that drives her to and from school, and trips to the gas pump are met with troubled stares. “I wish there was a better way to drive,” she told me last week. “I think we are going to ruin the earth.”

My daughter is not alone in her concern. Overuse of fossil fuels and its resulting pollution scare a lot of people, no matter on what side of the political fence you stand. One solution proposed to allow us to maintain our car-dependent lifestyles while stabilizing the climate is the use of vehicles not completely dependent on gasoline. After years of false starts that forced consumers to fit their needs to the alternative-fuel car, Tesla Motors has developed vehicles that finally allow the dog to wag the tail. Tesla wants to change the world, and they just may be able to do it.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Future Is Now: 5 Apps That Prove The Booming Business Behind Web App Development

Business Innovation in Web Mobile App Development
If any doubt remained about the power of web application-based industry, they were wiped away by the recent news of Apple’s purported $3.2M takeover of the Dr. Dre-driven Beats Music, which is poised to provide the iTunes Radio service provider extra ammunition in its web-based rivalry against Pandora and Spotify for listener’s ears—and subscription and advertising dollars. How did virtual come to replace brick-and-mortar startups, with companies such as Netflix wiping Blockbuster Video out of existence, and what other innovative companies and clever entrepreneurs should be on our radar?

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Innovation of Bitcoin: How Does It Really Work?

Bitcoins and the exchange of oranges for currency
Exchange of goods and services happens every day around the world. Here are two scenarios in which it may occur.

1. The Middleman
I have an orange, and you want my orange. We agree that you can have my orange if you wash my car. You wash my car, and I give my orange to a stranger along with a dollar bill. That stranger hands the orange to you and keeps the dollar. You have been paid your one orange and the stranger has been paid a dollar for being the middleman in our transaction. This is how most of our monetary transactions currently happen.

2. Peer Exchange
I have an orange, and you want my orange. We agree that you can have my orange if you wash my car. You wash my car, and I give you the orange. No one has witnessed the transaction but the two of us, but we know I had an orange and gave it to you. No third party was involved, and we both got what we wanted: a sweet juicy orange and a clean car.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Game Changers: How Innovation Changed The Way We Play Golf

Golf Ball Innovation
The eyes of golf lovers worldwide are currently on the Augusta National Golf Club as Augusta, GA, hosts the 2014 Masters Golf Tournament. This ancient game, first thought to have been played by the Scots in the Fourteenth Century, is today much different than it was even a hundred years ago. Even novice golfers are playing better than ever before—the average handicap of golfers has decreased consistently over the past 15 years. What can account for this? Golf innovations have made playing easier, and recent equipment innovations have taken playing to a whole new level. Let’s look at the history of the basic rules and equipment used at the Masters Tournament today.