Turf TV – Turning the Football Field into a Jumbotron

By November 29, 2006

Mark Nicholls, the founder and chief executive of Sportexe, the number two maker of artificial turf in the NFL, has patented the process of “tufting” fiber optics with blades of plastic grass. “We will be able to turn the football field into a giant Jumbotron,” says Nicholls. It will make it’s debut as a National Football League field.

A field can display a huge American flag during the national anthem. At halftime a sponsor such as Budweiser could cover the field with its logo. During the game, that virtual first-down marker you see on your TV could now be on the field itself before the ball is snapped. And because sensors beneath the fibers can sense when any given blade’s light is obscured, referees can track the footsteps of a player to determine if he was in-bounds or not.

Stadium owners would welcome the technology as well, as it would help them get more use out of the field: A few mouse clicks is all it takes to change the field from a gridiron to a soccer pitch.

Forbes Article

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