The NFL has added a lightweight, quarter-sized sensor inside each football this preseason to measure actual game data as things unfold on the field.
The sensors, which rest just under the ball’s laces, can capture information like velocity, acceleration and distance, and send that info back to computer monitors in just half a second. The League hasn’t yet decided if the sensors will be used in the regular season.
Zebra created the sensors the NFL is testing with its footballs and is in its third season using similar sensors inserted into players’ shoulder pads to track their location, speed and distance traveled.You can think of these sensors like a GPS. Small receivers placed throughout each NFL stadium issue radio waves that ping the sensors in the shoulder pads to collect information.