How would Google Glass fit in the NFL? [VIDEO]


Ever since Google revealed its first Google Glass concept, many have wondered how the technology could fit into a number of different fields. Well, now that the thing is actually out and about some folks are beginning to explore just how useful Glass could be. One such use brought up by ESPN could be outfitting helmets with Glass-like technology that might help a player review practice footage from a different angle, give viewers a unique angle on a replay, or even having the coach send prompts to players while they’re out on the field.

While that last one might be a bit too much (no one wants to be distracted by apps when there are 350-pound men coming their way), it’s still yet another interesting take on this exciting new technology. ESPN actually visited the St. Louis Rams, a franchise said to be known for its willingness to try out cutting edge technology. Quarterback Sam Bradford and rookie wide receiver Tavon Austin gave the units a try, using them to record video as they ran through some quick passing patterns with each other.

Rams general manager Les Snead was also on-hand to give the unit a try, and chimed in with his own 2 cents:

That view of Sam [Bradford] and what he’s looking at, it’s going to help the quarterback, and all people involved, go ‘hey, this is what I saw.’

It certainly would be an invaluable tool for quarterbacks, who often study quick polaroids of matchups and coverages following each drive (especially if that drive culminates with an interception), and get deep into film following game day.

It’s tough to say whether or not this technology will ever break into the NFL, but it’s possible. It was probably insane to suggest certain players be hooked up with small microphones to record their audio during games 20 years ago, but as we’ve seen in various NFL Films-produced videos it certainly has become the norm. More unique challenges stand in the way of something like Glass being embedded in helmets:

  1. Player vision is already obstructed by facemasks and visors, so the idea of putting something else in their line of sight would probably be shut down.
  2. If it would be a purely video-based solution, it has to be done in a way that doesn’t cause harm to the unit on impact. You could embed the sensor into the helmet in a way that it could withstand a fair amount of shock, but then you’d have to figure out how to do that while still making the helmet comfortable for players to wear.

Still, those issues don’t completely rule out the possibility of something like Glass gaining steam in the NFL, and many other sports for that matter. Whether it be something as simple as practice drills or as intense as providing live game-day footage from a players’ perspective, I would definitely applaud whichever team decides it wants to be the first to give this thing a try. Watch the video above.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. The players at the homerun derby definitely could have used Google Glass yesterday rather than strapping big ass cameras to their heads.

  2. Help players like Tebow find the in zone ^_^

    1. in zone?

      1. Touchdown area zone?..

        1. It’s End Zone.

          1. Sounds like in zone.. the D is silent? like comb?..

  3. Not gonna lie. I would LOVE to see this perspective in the NFL. It would obviously have to be mounted inside the players helmet so it doesn’t interfere with their games, but it would be very cool to see the game from their perspective.

    1. Glass is a POS. There is no image stabilization, and it’s not even 1080p. The NFL can easily pay someone to create a 1080P helmet mounted camera, with image stabilization, longer battery life. All for a third of the price. It’s not like the players will be using the HUD portion, so what’s the point?

      1. The first car was probably considered a POS by many. But get some vision and see where Google Glass can go from here. You may never use it but I can almost guarantee, many will, in one form or another. You can not tell me when that football came right at your face it did not affect you. That kind of perceptive is priceless. The tech maybe primitive now but what about tomorrow?

      2. Of course the first iteration won’t live up to current standards set by smartphones and high end cameras. Give it 2-3 years.

        Not to mention we still haven’t even SEEN the first public release. These are only devkits.

  4. Boomer Sooner!!!

  5. from a camera perspective this was done already – the World League back in the day (early 90s I believe) had camera’s mounted to a player’s helmet. The videos for the most part were pretty cool especially when someone got rocked…

  6. wow I wouldn’t need a phone if i have Google Glass and this watch http://igg.me/at/kreyos/x/3574099

    1. except you would because both the watch and Google Glass are merely bluetooth phone extensions. Therefore you would receive no content without a phone.

      1. True ….if google glass becomes a stand alone phone that will be cool.

  7. ROFL! Google is trying too hard, with the marketing. Glass is a geek device, stop marketing geek technology to regular people…..

  8. why does she move like a robot when she talks?

  9. Put a pair on Tebow and see what the game looks like from the bench. Or on Jay Cutler, and see what it looks kike to have your face driven in to the ground play after play.

  10. Not sure about the NFL, perhaps to help coaches and officials, but did read the US Navy was buying a lot of them. One can imagine at the ruggedized, military adapted uses for these without much effort, so this could get interesting.

  11. In the movie the 6th Day they had a similar type of device in the helmet. That would be awesome if Glass was able to do that. That would also be a great for racing.

  12. Because no one has ever heard of a gopro?

    1. Unless you strap the GoPro right on his face, it doesn’t provide the exact perspective of what their eyes are looking at.

  13. The receiver fumbled the ball at a key moment, coach says player was watching a video on how to groom his pink poodle and got distracted.

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