As virtual reality continues to gain steam on its path to revolutionize everything from spectating video games to cruise ship entertainment, it’s also starting to be incorporated into training exercises by professional sports teams. Major League Baseball, already embracing technology with an Apple deal that supplies teams with iPad Pros, is looking to see how VR headsets can play a part in improving batting practice.
Florida’s MLB team, the Tampa Bay Rays, is one to recently adopt VR tech, making use of a system called iCube from EON Sports VR, demonstrated in the video below. The simulator has players facing pitches in a virtual batting cage, allowing them to practice their swing with less physical wear.
While coaches like the idea of reducing the physical demands of training, one of the real potential benefits from VR is be the ability for batters to practice against different pitchers throughout the league. If the VR system can simulate the different traits and techniques of specific pitchers, players can brush up on opposing teams before an upcoming game.
EON Sports VR’s CEO Brendan Reilly says they plan to get more teams using the iCube system, noting that while VR environments can’t always match the experience of stepping up to the plate in person, the technology “enables players to maximize repetitions and their performance in the batters’ box. This is invaluable technology for teams looking to gain a competitive edge against their opponents.”