Simulated sports training (and recruiting) is now a virtual reality.
It was only a matter of time.
Virtual reality, the technology used to train pilots (and inject realism to video games) is advancing from simulated cockpits to computer-generated football fields and baseball diamonds.
While still in its infancy, 3D virtual reality sports training is something you’re going to hear more about.
A company called EON Sports VR, for example, created a program that allows coaches to move football practice from the field (or classroom) for specialized training with a smartphone app and a headset. Plays can be designed and learned from various angles and from any player’s viewpoint.
Another program simulates standing in a baseball batter’s box against a virtual pitcher to learn the strike zone and quickly read and recognize pitches. (Swinging and hitting are to come, the company says.)
And STRIVR, a virtual reality sports company founded by a former Stanford placekicker and head of the university’s renowned Virtual Human Interaction Lab, has already signed six NFL teams and a dozen college football teams, with plans to expand to basketball and hockey.
Sports training is apparently just one approach.
A handful of college athletic departments — UNLV, UCLA, Kansas, Syracuse and Mississippi, according to The Associated Press — are also using the EON system to offer virtual reality campus tours as a recruiting tool.
And not just tours of dorms, dining halls and campus buildings, but their sports venues and weight rooms. They can even simulate what it feels like to walk down the stadium tunnel and onto the field before a big game or “take” a recruit inside a team huddle or inside the locker room for a coach’s pregame speech.
Can sampling the virtual pre-game meal be far off?