Apple strikes iPad deal with NHL in time for playoffs, ‘league-wide deployment’ slated for next season
The fairly balanced contest between Apple, Microsoft and Samsung for domination of a long-stagnating global tablet market has transferred to the literal arenas in the past few years, as iPads are helping the technological progress of baseball, Surfaces tried to make football better, and Galaxy slates found their way courtside in the NBA.
It was about time hockey also jumped on the bandwagon, and unsurprisingly, Apple splashed enough cash to score this no doubt win-win NHL contract. No words on actual financial details or the length of the deal yet, but after successful late regular season tests, three iPad Pros will be given to the coaching staff of teams qualified for the ongoing Stanley Cup playoffs.
Officials will be able to review offside and goaltender interference challenges on iPads as well, and starting next season, the partnership is set for an expansion and “full league-wide deployment”, following some last-minute “refinements and enhancements.”
Clearly, both Apple and the National Hockey League are in it for the long haul, with NHL executive vice president and chief technology officer Peter DelGiacco hinting at more changes to come. “What you see today is not what it’s going to be two years from now”, as decisions will be made faster and faster, not to mention more accurately, by coaches and referees.
Players should also look forward to the continuing evolution of the sport, with real-time bench access to video replays, valuable stats, information and insights into their opponents’ form and technique helping them gain the strategic upper hand in those key moments when every detail counts.