The NFL will be employing modified Surface tablets on the sidelines of games beginning this season. As part of an existing deal with Microsoft, the NFL will deploy Surface Pro 2 tablets beginning with the Hall of Fame game today. The tablets, modified externally with a thick blue case, will be used to review plays instantly. Each sideline will have a temperature-controlled cart of Surface tablets, which will remain locked up at the stadium when not in use during games. Additionally, the tablets will be locked down to prevent cheating, according to Engadget:
Moreover, Microsoft says the Surface Pro 2s are owned by the NFL and not the teams, telling us that the tablets were heavily modified inside and out. Sure, these devices are capable of handling water, snow and extreme heat temperatures, but here's one thing they can't handle: third-party apps. In other words, don't expect Johnny Football to be Instagramming while he's warming up on the bench. Along those same lines, the Surface tablets on the field operate under a private network created by the NFL, which is how the league plans to keep the sensitive photo-viewing app closed off and away from any potential intruders.
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