If you thought microchips were only good for powering your desktop
(and maybe that tracking thing within your pup), you should think again. America's most popular sport (that's football, of course) is considering using microchips to better officiate games, make better calls and avoid mistakes that could prove costly if made at the wrong time. The NFL has been using Instant Reply for some time now in order to really evaluate close calls on the field, but even those aren't perfect. Camera angles can be blocked by players, and things can happen so quickly that even when slowed down, it's hard for the human eye to tell what a call should be.
But if a microchip were inside of a football, a lot of that guesswork would be removed. That's the thinking behind the new proposal, which would use "chip-in-ball technology" in order to "help rule on contentious touchdown and first down calls. Germany's Cairos Technologies is in charge of the chip, which is also being considered for soccer (or global football) for the same reasons.
This chip-in-ball technology would essentially allow the ball to determine whether it crossed the line for a touchdown, whether it actually went 10 yards for a first down, or whether it moved before the snap. There's no question that this would be a hotly debated move; people generally do not like machines making decisions that affect the outcome of humans. There's a certain level of distrust, and of course, everyone knows that even computers can make mistakes. But another level of redundancy in an attempt to get the call right seems like a smart move to us. The NFL has yet to comment on the matter, but it's practically a certainty that this will not be ready in time for this year's season.