Instructor: David Schuff, Section 003

Virtual Reality Disrupting Professional Sports

Professional teams almost always study and examine past film of their performance. These films are viewed from a different view and perspective from a camera far off the field. The vantage point is much different from what a player might view during a game. VR technology will now allow coaches and players the ability to experience plays from a first-hand perspective. STRIVR Labs, a VR startup, creates VR training videos shot from the perspective of the player during practices. This enables players to receive realistic, repetitive training by using a VR headset.  For example, QB’s can review missed opportunities on a play multiple times without experiencing the physical wear and tear that a contact sport contains. This allows players to prepare for games without the exact presence on the field, where they risk injury. VR has yet to reach its full potential in professional sports, but I suspect more teams more teams, professional and recreational,  will invest in VR technology in the next 5 years. Do you think high budget programs will be the only ones able to invest in this technology? Will this create an unfair advantage to those who do not have the budget to adopt?



3 Responses to Virtual Reality Disrupting Professional Sports

  • As technology advances in the sports industry, there have definitely been many additions to the sports industry that have increased competitiveness. Even something as simple as the surface used in the NFL has created a whole new level of play. This technology enables players and coaches to make real-time adjustments without the use of the archaic pen and paper. In addition to simple technology like headsets and surfaces, the NFL introduced a marketing scheme in conjunction with Google Glasses. They passed out cheap, cardboard glasses at many games. This included an all-inclusive marketing experience in which fans went on to Youtube or the dedicated website to watch film that was made specifically with a VR-compatible camera. Not only does VR and AI technology have an impact on the players themselves, but also their personnel and fans.

  • Technology has really transformed many aspects of sports. From things like instant replay, to the yellow line for first downs improving viewer experience while watching football, there are countless ways technology has played a role in sports. I think VR for preparation and film is just another form of sustaining innovation in that it serves to enhance the sport by preparing coaches and players better, thus improving overall play.

  • Hi Anthony, thanks for the prompt.

    Q:Do you think high budget programs will be the only ones able to invest in this technology? Will this create an unfair advantage to those who do not have the budget to adopt?

    A: As with any technologies, I am sure there will varying levels to this technology as there are with essentially any piece of hardware. Much like now you can make a simple Google Cardboard set or one can go purchase an Oculus rift. Varying degrees of budgets/ability to spend by different teams will likely impact that level of technology integration the team will be able to make, but I think from a logical perspective also there may be some points of practice that may be irreplaceable via virtualization such as the increased adrenaline involved in contact, the pressure one feels, etc. Essentially, the entire spectrum of VR could be used in this use case, so as with everything else in MIS… IT DEPENDS.

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