iPad now on Duke’s hard court

Duke University’s men’s basketball team is the latest college sports team to adopt a tablet as a major training tool as the school revealed this week that it was going to eliminate notebooks and move over to Apple’s iPad.

The school will be providing the latest version of the iPad with a 64GB storage capacity and players will have a range of information ranging from the static such as schedules and scouting reports, to live video of the teams’ plays as well as those of rivals and scouting reports. Also included will be tracking software and the ability to wipe the memory if they are stolen or lost.

Tablets are gaining ever increasing acceptance across a wide spectrum of usage models and sports, often viewed as so old school that it is still considering the typewriter, has actually been at the forefront of adoption.

There are at least eight NFL teams that have moved away from paper notebooks and onto iPads including the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and the Baltimore Ravens. MLB and the NBA have also been quick to follow suit.

Colleges have seen what their professional brethren are doing and have also started to adopt the technology. At the start of this season Stanford University adopted the iPad for its football players. Ohio State announced earlier this year that it was going to outfit all of its student athletes with iPads over the next two years. Other schools moving in this direction include Syracuse and the University of Colorado.

The one constant I am seeing is that almost all of the schools and pro teams are using Apple’s iPad as the tablet of choice and that is a great PR boost for the company (not that they really need it), but if rivals want to get high profile positioning of their tablets they might be well rewarded by going after some teams. I guess we might see this change a bit when the Windows 8 tablets come out next month, but then again maybe not.

PlayerLync expands its iPad playbooks to College

PlayerLync, a app developer that has captured five National Football League teams as customers for its electronic playbook app that runs on Apple’s iPad has now made the leap to college football with Stanford University using the technology for its players.

The school announced that it has ditched traditional paper notebook playbooks, which can often run to 500 pages and need to be reprinted on a weekly basis, in favor of PlayerLync’s tablet-based offering.

The move to iPad appears to bring significant advantages to the school. Aside from eliminating the need to print out new playbooks to match each opponent, the platform allows coaches a great deal of flexibility in customizing the playbooks for individual players as well as team units.

The technology permits coaches to prioritize plays and keep them at the front of the playbook so that players understand the importance of the selected plays. Other areas of customization include by opponent, situation, role and player, both home and opponent.

Overall the technology can show plays, formations, route trees and can display them in a chalkboard or audio/video mode, with the ability to toggle back and forth between the two modes.

Aside from the playbook aspect of the technology it also brings a range of other features into a unified, networked solution as well. It features a calendar that can be customized by an individual and shared throughout an organization.

The NFL has been moving ahead with using tablet-based playbooks, with at least nine teams having announced that they will be using them in the upcoming season. PlayeLync is the developer for 5 of these teams while a number of MLB teams are also starting to use tablets in a variety of areas including for scouting purposes.

The opening up of the college ranks presents a great new market for the company, as the number of Division A schools alone dwarfs the opportunity that the NFL presents. Once in a school it seems likely that the technology will find its way to others ports such as basketball, so PlayerLync has opened a huge new market for its products.

Friday Grab Bag: Dolphins with iPads, New NFL Game Times

The Miami Dolphins are the latest NFL team to jump on the iPad train as the team has adopted the tablets as an alternative to the huge binders that had been the traditional form of NFL playbooks. The team joins a growing number of NFL teams that have taken this approach including the Denver Broncos, Tampa Bay Bucs and the Green Bay Packers.

However the Dolphins are also apparently taking a hard line on players’ usage of the tablets. While they can surf the Internet to some degree, they will be fined as much as $10,000 for access unauthorized sites such as YouTube and Twitter, according to ProFootballTalk.

Microsoft buys Yammer for $1.2 billion
Microsoft has added corporate social networking developer Yammer Inc. into its corporate embrace with its $1.2 billion purchase of the startup. The company said that it intends to incorporate the tools, which have a Facebook quality, into its Microsoft Office group.

Yammer has seen strong acceptance to its technology and has 200,000 companies using its tools including major players such as Ford Motor Co.

Mobile users increasingly access Internet

The Pew Internet & American Life project has published an interesting study on the use of mobile phone use for Internet browsing and purchases. It found that 17% of cell phone owners use the phone as their primary device for cruising the Internet, and often their only tool used for accessing it.

The study found that 88% of US adults have a cell phone and that of these 55% of them use the phone to go online, a notable increase from the 31% Pew found when it last did a similar study in 2009.

NFL moves late kickoffs back 10 minutes
The NFL has moved the opening kickoffs for the late afternoon games from 4:15 ET start to 4:25. The move will help eliminate the overlap that occasionally occurs when the early game runs long, something that often seems to happen if the second game is the one that you have been waiting all day to watch.

This should also help now that the new overtime rules are in effect that could also lead to more overtime games as it will now make more sense for a coach to go for a tie in the waning moments of the game knowing that he has a shot at getting the ball and scoring in OT.

RIM delays smartphone after bad quarter
Beleaguered smartphone developer Research in Motion has reported that it had a worse than expected quarter with revenue at $2.8 billion with a loss of $518 million, its shipment of its flagship BlackBerry phones was only 7.8 million, down 41% from the same period a year ago.

The company plans to slash 5,000 jobs but still expects to have another bad quarter, predicting a loss for the current one as well. It has delayed the delivery of its next generation phone, the BlackBerry 10, until the first quarter of next year.

Judge halts Samsung Galaxy Sales in US
Apple won its latest round against rival Samsung when US District Judge Lucy Koh reversed her previous position and granted Apple’s request to prohibit Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the United States.

She said in the ruling that Samsung does not have the right to flood the market with products that infringe (presumably on Apple patents). Apple needs to post a $2.6 million bond in case the injunction is later to be found to be incorrect and so pay for damages inflicted on Samsung.

Samsung has not taken the ruling lying down and has already appealed. It has asked that the US District Court of Northern California suspend the order pending an appeal.

iPhone hits 5th anniversary
In June 2007 Apple launched its iPhone and has not had a need to look back as it has helped propel Apple to the powerful position it holds today as a company. In the five years of its life the phone has generated an estimated $150 billion in revenue, just from hardware sales, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics.

Then of course there is the sale of peripherals, apps, software and services. Strategy Analytics estimates that Apple has shipped 250 million iPhones globally in that time.

Tablets usage as second TV continues to grow
NPD DisplaySearch’s latest Global TV Replacement Study has found that the use of tablets as a platform for viewing television and video has doubled over the last year, in part the usage has been driven by the overall growth of tablet sales, according to the survey.

While tablet usage as a second screen has edged to over 10% of consumers using one for viewing, it still has a ways to go to reach the level of laptops or desktop computers, which over 40% of consumers say they use for viewing purposes.

The All-Star Selection show is this weekend
For baseball fans the results of their ballet box stuffing will be found this Sunday when TBS hosts the section show at 1 pm ET. Still the show will not have the final rosters as MLB will then have five players from each league that fans can vote for to put one last person on the each team. The winner of the Final Ballot will be announced on next Thursday, July 5.

Denver Broncos the latest to jump onto iPad Playbook

The Denver Broncos have jettisoned its old time playbooks in favor of the bright new shiny iPad; 120 tablets in all which will feature Verizon Wireless 4G access and with most of the iPads top end models with 64GB, according to the Denver Post.

The team plans to load the iPads not only with the playbook but also with each weeks game plan, scouting reports on upcoming teams and video clips among other digital data. The system will be set up so that as new plays are developed they will be ‘pushed’ onto each tablet.

In the past the team had printed a 500 pound playbook each week of the season that contained much of the information, but the sheer mass made it very difficult to quickly locate different pieces of information.

The program was co designed by the Broncos and a developer named PlayerLync and among the program’s features is the ability to allow players and coaches to annotate and highlight plays as well as provide the team with playbook security by enabling it to erase the entire iPad remotely.

The team will provide the iPads to coaches, players, scouts and other team personnel. It should be noted that while the players and coaches can use the iPads for practice and training purposes the NFL does not allow electronic devices of this type to be on the field during games.

The league has relented somewhat in that in the past these notebooks and tablets had to be off in the locker room 90 minutes prior to kickoff, now that rule has been rescinded.

This is part of a growing trend in the NFL and elsewhere; teams have found that instead of cumbersome paper notebooks, sleek iPads or tablets can not only easily replace them but enhance the value of the digital playbooks by allowing for remote upgrades and player feedback.

At least nine NFL teams now use the iPad, with five, the Dallas Cowboys, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Indianapolis Colts, and Detroit Lions, signing on with Global Apptitude last month. MLB has also been increasingly active in this area as well.