For the 2012-13 NFL season, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith might have the luxury of not receiving Southwest Airlines’ pilots in his ear.
Such was the case for Smith, along with other NFL teams last season and in years prior as the league was surprisingly not up-to-speed with the latest sports technology regarding its headsets. Finally, the NFL will be transitioning to a new system that is in touch with the most updated technology. The league will switch from the older analog system to digital technology for the upcoming year.
Updates In Sports Technology Make Sense For League
Nebraska-based Gubser & Schnakenberg LLC is the leading manufacturer of the revamped headsets, with the company specifically designing the headsets to be more user-friendly than the former Telex technology. Essentially, head coaches and team coordinators will simply push a button and talk instantly to the designated player on the field.
In 2005, the 49ers selected Smith with the first overall pick in the NFL draft. The Seattle, Wash. native envisioned working with state-of-the-art equipment. Instead, Smith found some AAA batteries and an old radio device inside his helmet.
“You expect more when you come in as a rookie,” Smith said to the Associated Press. “You’re thinking this is going to be some crazy high-tech stuff and then you actually look in the helmet and it’s not.”
While headset technology — compared to hand signals or sideline posters — has still proven to be the best form of communication between coaches and players since its inception in 1994, there is still room for improvement in sports technology. Hence, the launching of the league’s new digital system.
Photo Credit: Associated Press