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NFL sideline tech inches forward with addition of tablets

NFL sideline tech inches forward with addition of tablets

FOOTBALL TECH: New York Giants tight ends coach Kevin Gilbride uses a Microsoft Surface tablet at the Pro Football Hall of Fame exhibition NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Aug. 3, in Canton, Ohio. Photo: Associated Press/David Richard

NEW YORK (AP) — Tablets are making their debut on the NFL sideline.

The devices will be used by players and coaches to view aerial photos of previous plays. In the past, those images were transmitted to a printer on the sideline, and teams would review black-and-white pictures on paper.

Now they’ll be in color on a screen, and players and coaches can zoom in.

The specialized tablets were designed to withstand the elements, from heat to cold to rain during NFL games. Until now, only medical staff were allowed to carry digital devices on the sideline.

The tablets can be used solely to view the photos — there’s no Internet access or replays of previous plays.

The devices were developed as part of the league’s sponsorship deal with Microsoft.

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