Over the past two years, the iPad has shown up in a wide variety of workplaces. Some of those iPad at work are areas the come immediately to mind like salespeople using iPads to demo solutions and prepare quotes on the fly. Other places are ones that you might never expect like large combines in industrial agriculture.
One of the most recent employers to embrace the iPad is the Denver Broncos. The football team will replace its existing paper playbooks with iPads.
The Broncos aren’t the first team to make the switch. That would be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who announced a plan to swap their playbooks for iPads at the start of last season. The Baltimore Ravens also chose the iPad over paper playbooks last year.
NFL playbooks can reach over 500 pages and get quite bulky. Traditionally, they’re printed on a weekly basis so that everyone in a team’s organization (players, coaches, scouts, and other staff) gets a current copy. According to the Denver Post, that means a total of 120 copies are printed each week.
Aside from saving trees, the ability to search content quickly and easily as well as the integration of multimedia content offer very clear advantages to Apple’s tablet and the Broncos are working to have game video incorporated into player iPads as soon as possible. Then there’s the capability for cloud-based syncing of highlights and notes by coaching staff and players – information that goes to the shredder each week in a traditional paper playbook. In fact, this feature in particular is touted by PlayerLync, the company providing the e-playbook software for the Broncos. PlayerLync also offers a range of modules in its software beyond playbooks including modules for equipment management, business functions, and travel arrangements.
The Broncos are opting for 64GB Verizon LTE iPads, in part because the connection allows a remote wipe command to be sent to any missing iPad, preventing other teams or organizations from getting their hands on any playbook data. PlayerLync also builds in a feature that deletes data at a specified time if a missing iPad is kept offline.
PlayerLync indicates that it is talking to other NFL teams, which means more teams are likely to make the switch as well. Even if all NFL teams go digital with the iPad, don’t expect to see one on the sidelines. NFL rules prohibit electronic devices like iPads on the field.