Professional NFL teams like the New York Jets, Vikings, 49ers, Cardinals and Patriots have all recently adopted virtual reality (VR) training from STRIVR Labs. VR training is starting to become big business as the football training season continues. But now the Tennessee Volunteers, a college team have implemented VR themselves rather than bringing in an outside company.
Reported in timesfreepress.com, Joe Harrington, Tennessee’s veteran sports technology coordinator saw a demonstration by STRIVR Labs and noticed that all the technology the company was using was off the shelf, and so decided to create his own VR training system. Harrington said “(The coaches) are wanting to buy the STRIVR,” he recalled. “I was like, ‘You’ve got to give me a chance to do it on my own. I can do this thing.’ Coach (Butch Jones) was like, ‘We really like this STRIVR thing, but if it’s something that you think you can do, have at it.’ Off I go into this world, and I had no idea. I knew you could buy the stuff, but I had no idea how hard it would be to make it work.”
All the VR training systems revolve around a 360 degree camera array and an Oculus Rift DK2 head-mounted display, and the quarter backs are finding the system invaluable. Starter Josh Dobbs said: “This is definitely something that we use every day that helps us,” adding: “It’s just great. If you miss something on the field, you’re able to go back and look at where your eyes exactly were and what you were looking at. It puts you right back in that play and you’re able to simulate it again. You’re able to pick up on little things you might have missed on the field.”
Whichever system an NFL or college football team uses whether its STRIVR Labs or their own, VR definitely seems to be the ‘in’ technology for training future stars. VRFocus will continue to follow all the latest announcements from the NFL and other sporting leagues on their use of VR.