Sports industry gears up for virtual reality revolution

phys.org | 10/11/2018 | Staff
emilia (Posted by) Level 3
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From training with Major League Baseball pitchers to bone-jangling racing on board an F1 car, technology's potential to revolutionise sport was the hot topic as industry leaders met in London this week.

"It's going to disrupt all aspects of sport that you can imagine," virtual reality expert Michael Ludden told the two-day Leaders Sport Business Summit at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge stadium.

Ludden - Reality - MR - Sport - Professionals

Ludden said that virtual and augmented reality—together known as mixed reality (MR)—would transform sport for professionals, amateurs and spectators.

"American footballers are already using VR to better train their minds, read the field," allowing quarterbacks to hone their skills without risking injury, he said.

Baseball - Bat - Reality - Pitchers - Data

"You can train with a real baseball bat that's tracked in virtual reality against real pitchers using data from those pitchers... giving you advanced analytics on how the swing is," added Ludden, who has worked for IBM and Google.

With the price of headsets such as Facebook's Oculus Rift falling, MR also promises to allow amateurs the experience of facing a 100 mph pitch from the safety of their living room.

MR - User - Technologies - Reality - Sports

While MR immerses the user aurally and visually, other developing technologies are beginning to recreate the physical reality of top-level sports, opening up a whole new world of spectator experience.

Canadian company D-BOX Technologies, which designs and manufactures moving seats found in cinemas and theme parks, is now moving into sports, showing off their Formula One simulator at the London event.

Seats - G-Force - Judder - F1 - Champion

The seats mimic the G-Force and every judder as F1 champion Lewis Hamilton races around the Monaco circuit.

The simulation seat uses pre-programmed data but could use real-time information sent by the car, allowing spectators to pick their driver and experience their full Grand Prix adventure, said Veronique Maheu, director at D-BOX.

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