End Zone to War Zone: Pentagon Wants NFL Tech for Battlefield Replays

The Pentagon's cribbing a play from Monday Night Football, adopting the same instant-replay technology used during games to improve analysis of war-zone video feeds.

Harris Corporation, the company behind instant replay for professional football and baseball games, has teamed up with the military on an analysis system that's already been deployed to several bases, reports Live Science.

The system, called Full-Motion Video Asset Management Engine (FAME) uses metadata tags to encode important details - time, date, camera location - into each video frame. In a football game, those tags would help broadcasters pick the best clip to re-air and explain a play. In a war-zone, they'd help analysts watch video in a richer, easier-to-grasp context. And additional tags could link a video clip to photographs, cellphone calls, databases or documents.

The final result turns war-zone footage into play-by-play video feed, with analysts becoming veritable game announcers:

One can then view data in ways as rich as depicted with football games on TV, which not only show what is happening from multiple angles, but the identity of teams, the current score, the line of the field where a play started, where the ball needs to go for first down, which quarter and down it is, time remaining, how many yards there are to go, as well as pop-up windows and scrolling data giving details on players and scores from others games and audio commentary detailing plays.

This isn't the first time the military has realized that tech developed for commercial uses might come in handy. A 2007 report issued by the Pentagon's Defense Science Board noted that innovations like TiVo could help the military create a cutting-edge surveillance system, thanks to "an omnipresent knowledge of the present and the past that can be used to rewind battle space observations."

End Zone to War Zone: Pentagon Wants NFL Tech for Battlefield ReplaysWired.com has been expanding the hive mind with technology, science and geek culture news since 1995.