STRIVR Labs, a technology company that is based out of Stanford University, already has some technology that is getting used by the NFL for practice purposes. So far there are 6 NFL teams and 10 college teams using virtual reality with the Oculus Rift headset, owned by Facebook, use the technology to perform what they are calling “mental reps.” It takes them on a tour of the mental side of the game and helps them to recognize different plays and formations, without the stress of actually being on the field.
How it works is that football teams film their practices with a 360 degree camera, which places the virtual reality user in an immersive experience. Not surprisingly, the cofounder of STRIVR was an assistant football coach at Stanford while being a graduate student in the field of VR. It started as a tool for quarterbacks, but now has footage and tools for each position. STRIVR suggests that this tool will be great for colleges, since practice is not a full time job the way it is in the NFL.
Since it has been out on the market, other sports types have jumped on the bandwagon. Professional basketball and hockey teams also want to try the technology to improve their performance.
However, this also has applications for sports fans. STRIVR recently released an experience that lets hockey fans experience what it is like to be in the goal spot at Madison Square Garden, where the NY Rangers play.
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