From Polaroids to tablets, NFL sideline technology is inching forward _ but still no video

Associated Press

Tablets are making their debut on the NFL sideline Sunday.

The devices will be used by players and coaches to view aerial photos of previous plays. In the past, those images were transmitted to a printer on the sideline, and teams would review black-and-white pictures on paper.

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Now they'll be in color on a screen, and players and coaches can zoom in.

The specialized tablets were designed to withstand the elements, from heat to cold to rain during NFL games. Until now, only medical staff were allowed to carry digital devices on the sideline.

The tablets can be used solely to view the photos — there's no Internet access or replays of previous plays.

The devices were developed as part of the league's sponsorship deal with Microsoft.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL