When you hear the words "virtual reality" and "football," what do you think? Your first thought might be of starring as a quarterback in a video game, but virtual reality is increasingly being used as a tool for training professional football players.
In the past, professional sports leagues used video capture technology to compile footage for game highlights for fan entertainment or player training purposes. Now, virtual reality has moved from a practice simulation to a more lifelike game experience. One company, STRIVR, captures comprehensive footage from practice sessions on the field and delivers it to the players. Players may immerse themselves on the virtual practice field allowing them to watch, study, and understand the game action without having to be on the field. Alternatively, players may also use mixed reality in which holographic, virtual players are superimposed on the real playing field. Players are refining their reaction time and awareness – their instinct – by watching real-life footage or engaging with simulations so they can react better to in-game situations. This results in realistic practice for the players without the dangers and limitations of the actual game.
This technology may help in other fields as well. Referees can utilize this technology to simulate in-game scenarios to improve their officiating; retail stores can help employees get acquainted to a busy environment by re-creating a holiday rush; and construction companies can hone their workers' safety instincts by demonstrating the dangers associated with construction sites. As virtual reality technology improves, applications for it are being constantly discovered on and off the field!
Related: Gridiron Glory
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