Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Stay Connected With Nike’s “Smart Jerseys”

Photo credit: nike.com

Our world is becoming more connected by the day. Cars can turn into Wi-Fi hotspots, fridges can scan your shelves to see which products are expiring and, finally, you can buy basketball jerseys that connect to your smartphone. Nike recently announced their launch of smart jerseys: purchasable fan apparel that includes a chip you can scan to get all sorts of information on your favorite player. So how does it work?

Using a smartphone, you scan the chip in the lower left corner of the jersey. Immediately, your smartphone will receive up-to-the-minute statistics, highlights from big games, that player’s personal Spotify playlists, exclusive discounts on shoes and a boost to that player’s stats in the NBA 2K18 video game. To sweeten the pot a bit, fans with smart jerseys will get first crack at game tickets and the latest fan apparel for their favorite player’s team. That player can even send messages to his fans through smartphones. We could see some of the information, such as stats, being helpful for serious fantasy sports players. Outside of that, most of it feels like window dressing.

The technology is definitely cool and it will appeal to diehard fans who crave the latest tech and the coolest perks, but it can be easily seen as going overboard. The NBA has quickly become the most popular American sports league for young fans in the states and abroad, so it makes sense they’d pioneer new fan apparel like this. If (and when) it takes off and spills into other leagues, we wonder how it will adjust for each sport. What if you scan J.J. Watt’s jersey and find out his favorite tailgate snack? Can’t get enough of Alex Morgan? Scan her Orlando Pride jersey and learn her favorite routines to get hyped for a big game. Love CC Sabathia? Scan his Yankee pinstripes to find out how much he doesn’t work out before games (kidding). The applications really are endless.

We’re on the fence about smart jerseys, but we could get on the bandwagon if it becomes widespread throughout international sports leagues. Who knows, we might even start making smart bibs so you can get the latest info on the number of hot wings consumed and games won in tailgate toss. What do you think of smart jerseys? Let us know in the comments!

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