The NFL is receiving a major tech upgrade in time for the start of the 2014 season, thanks to the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 tablet.

As part of a lucrative deal with the NFL, Microsoft is providing 13 tablets to each team, running a single programme that can quickly show photographs of how the opposition is lining up during each play.

Currently, coaches rely on team photographers taking snaps before and after each snap, printing them out in black and white and rushing them down to the field in binders for analysis.

If teams choose to adopt the new tech, full colour digital photos, which can also be annotated and saved for later review, will be delivered directly to the Surface Pro 2 tablets up to half a minute faster.

No 'Spygate 2'

Because of previous incidences of cheating - yes, we're looking at you, New England Patriots - the Surface Pro's cameras have been disabled, the device's software is locked down to only show the photos.

The tablets can only be connected to the special private wireless network Microsoft has installed in all NFL stadiums around the United States.

In order to prevent potential tampering, teams won't even be able to keep the devices. They'll be possessed by the NFL and delivered to the teams on game days in a temperature controlled storage box.

The devices are also coated in thick rubber cases and have waterproof screens, in the hope they can survive the vigours of an NFL season and a Pittsburgh snow storm in mid-December.

The tablets will debut at the Hall of Fame game between the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

Via Bloomberg