For about 12 years now, we’ve gotten used to watching the virtual yellow line, which of course signifies where on the field the first down is. It’s one of the things that people who go to the game really miss.
My question is, why do we have to miss it? If our world came up with the virtual technology, can’t it come up with a real line on the field that the players won’t trip over?
Inventor Alan Amron has been working on a solution for the better part of this decade. He has four patents for his First Down Laser System, which shoots a six-inch wide green laser beam across the field that can be seen on both television and in the stadium, and has partnered with veteran player and announcer Pat Summerall.
So why haven’t you seen it yet?
Well, he met with the NFL all the way back in 2003 and has been working on refining it ever since. When Amron met with the league seven years ago, his green line was going to be shown thanks to projectors in stadiums mounted to light fixtures. That cost $300,000 per stadium. Amron’s latest product is mounted to the bottom of the markers themselves, which has reduced the cost to about $100,000 per stick set.
He’s currently working on getting approval from the FDA to make sure the laser complies with regulatory standards and he says he has already talked to the NFL about testing his product in a preseason game next year.