Microsoft Surface Pro 3 to See Action on NFL Sidelines

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By Keith Wagstaff

NFL fans will see something new on the sidelines this season: the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, which will be used by coaches and players to analyze still images during games.

The devices will replace the Surface Pro 2 tablets used last year, Microsoft announced on Friday.

Currently, the NFL strictly regulates the use of technology during games. Coaches and players can only use tablets designed specifically to do one thing: look at still pictures from previous plays. Tablets replaced binders filled with black-and-white photographs in 2014.

During more than 20 preseason games this year, the NFL will test letting coaches and players view video replay on their devices as well. The league will also let referees view replay footage on their Surface Pro 3 tablets instead of going “under the hood" to watch a TV screen operated from NFL headquarters.

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It's not clear if the video replay features will ever make it to the NFL regular season. For now, coaches will have to settle for looking at pictures on a faster, lighter tablet with a larger screen.