After successful utilization by the NBA, NHL will become the second major American professional sports league to use wearable technology starting next season. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman called it a “breakthrough that is years in the making.”
NHL is collaborating with German company Jogmo World Corp. to put microchips on player jerseys and inside game pucks. Real-time data will be gathered by antennas in all 31 NHL arenas, reports FOX Sports.
“Being on the forefront of innovation is good for our game and most especially for our fans,” Bettman said. “With the speed and complexity of hockey, it makes for an unparalleled on-ice product, but at the same time it also presents an incredible challenge. So as a league we have made significant investment to create new technology that quite literally did not exist.”
Although the players have agreed to the tracking, the NHL hasn’t yet confirmed a firm start date. NHL is testing the system with potential for changes after it receives feedback from players, team and broadcasters, said the officials. However, the National Hockey League is confident that the radio frequency-based system can be accurately used on the 1,271 regular-season games and the playoffs, according to the FOX Sports report.
“This will continue to evolve and be monitored and tested and perfected over the course of the rest of this season and parts of next season,” NHL chief revenue officer Keith Wachtel said. “But this is our opportunity to say that we are far enough along where the commissioner is comfortable with the data and our broadcasters are comfortable and the NHLPA is comfortable that we can go ahead and unleash this, which we’re obviously excited about,”