The next step toward the inevitable future of football — robot players — has been taken by the new United Football League. A Miami-based technology company has invented The ID Coach, an electronic wristband device that quarterbacks will wear in which plays, and possibly their favorite TV shows, can be transmitted to them during games.
Somehow the makers of the device have convinced the UFL, which begins its inaugural season in October, to use it, but the NFL is going to be a harder sell. Donovan McNabb here seems to really dig it, however (“Will it tell me when overtime begins?”).
And … what new football-related product can succeed without the Brady Quinn seal of approval? From THE MIAMI HERALD:
Convincing the NFL will be a different task. The Isaac Daniel Group introduced the product to several NFL coaches and quarterbacks at a luncheon in Tampa before this year’s Super Bowl.
Recently, some coaches weren’t willing to endorse the product publicly, even in the wake of the luncheon. Instead, younger players, such as Browns quarterback Brady Quinn, were more willing to embrace the product’s potential.
In a text message to The Miami Herald, Quinn said he thinks the concept is interesting and makes sense.
”It could give a huge advantage to the offense and eliminate a lot of the distractions such as crowd noise, since all communication would be through ID Coach,” Quinn said. “There would be some barriers to entry [into the NFL], though.”
A coach on the sideline or up in the booth would type a play into a hand-held touch-screen terminal which resembles a large Blackberry, sending an encrypted signal to a thin, digital device embedded into the armband of the quarterback in the huddle.
The quarterback’s armband then vibrates, telling him “You’ve Got Mail.” The name of the play and a graphic depicting the assignments of each player appears on the armband. Touchdown, and winning, ensues.
And, according to their web site, the system also has these features:
• Non-volatile memory for storing plays (unlike Matt Hasselbeck).
• Touch Screen pad with stylus for selecting and editing plays (because what’s pro football without a stylus?)
• Password protected login (“Damn you, Falcons IT depratment! You stole our plays!”).
• Low power sleep and transmit modes (For Kyle Orton only).
• USB connector for charging (Do not use in rain).
Don’t look for it in the NFL any time soon, however; the device the Isaac Daniel Group introduced the device to several NFL coaches in Tampa before the Super Bowl, and no one was willing to publicly endorse it.
Personally I think that there’s too much technology in pro football already — helmet communication receivers, instant replay review, Chad Ochocinco — but I’m not necessarily opposed to this. Anything that makes the game more closely resemble Madden ‘09 may be a good thing.