On Thursday, when the defending Superbowl XLIX champion New England Patriots host the Pittsburgh Steelers to open the 2015 football season, each player will be equipped with a set of RFID sensors about the size of a quarter embedded in his shoulder pads, each emitting unique radio frequencies. Gillette Stadium (and every other stadium used by the NFL) has been equipped with 20 receivers to pick up those radio frequencies and pinpoint every player’s field position, speed, distance traveled and acceleration in real time.
By using two sensors for each player — one embedded in the left shoulder pad and one on the right — the system will also be able to identify the facing of each player.
Sports, at that level, have some very interesting opportunities to do big data in an exciting way. It’ll be cool to see what comes out of this.