Earlier this year, Microsoft revealed its plans to take over NFL sidelines. How so? With a partnership with the National Football League, a collaboration reportedly valued at $400 million -- though neither party ever confirmed this. Powered by the Surface Pro 2, the Sideline Viewing System lets NFL players and coaches use Microsoft's laptop/tablet hybrid device to review images from plays almost instantaneously, as opposed to using the paper-based, black-and-white method that's been in place for decades. Not only is it faster, but it's also more efficient, since it allows team members on the sidelines and those in the booths above to view any markups in near real time, something that's made possible by digital pen input.
But, as expected, before getting approval from the NFL on the final version, Microsoft went through many design iterations of the casing that protects the Surface Pro 2 during games. It needed to find a solution that would meet the requirements of the league; it had to be rugged enough to handle various weather extremes, from 100-degree temperatures in Arizona to sub-freezing conditions in Wisconsin. At the same time, though, the technology giant wanted to strike a balance in the aesthetics, keeping it fully functional, protected and easy for any player to hold.
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