Apple is lacing up its skates and hitting the ice.
The National Hockey League (NHL) has signed a deal with the tech giant to equip teams in the Stanley Cup playoffs with three iPad Pros each, allowing coaches to evaluate player performance in real-time, the Associated Press is reporting.
Tablets have quickly become a staple on the sidelines for several sports. In football, for instance, teams often use Microsoft’s Surface tablets to analyze games and review plays. Major League Baseball is also adopting technology, including tablets, to improve coaching and officiating.
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The NHL has been a bit slower than the other pro sports to adopt technology, but, according to the AP, it’s quickly ramping up after seeing some benefits this season. Specifically, teams are now equipped with monitors displaying video replays on the sidelines that let coaches analyze close calls and help them determine whether to challenge an official’s call.
Now armed with iPads, the 16 teams competing in the Stanley Cup playoffs can do much of the same. Ottawa Senators coach Guy Boucher told the AP that the iPads and monitors can help teams spot things they may have missed.
The NHL is using the 16 Stanley Cup teams as guinea pigs to provide the league feedback about what’s working and what’s not. The NHL plans to make tweaks to the software on the iPads based on that feedback and make Apple’s tablets available to all of its teams next season.
Terms of the deal between Apple (AAPL) and the NHL were not disclosed.