How Virtual Reality is Serving the Major Leagues

Virtual reality and 360-degree video are in an upward trend in the video and filmmaking world, but read how it's making an impact in the sports arena improving the performance of professional athletes...

Why Major League Baseball Teams Are Turning to Virtual Reality by Jonathan Chew Cody Andersen, a right-handed pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, stands on his mound. He winds up, aims, throws a 91 mph fastball, and hits the upper right corner of the strike zone. Andersen does this inside a Starbucks in Midtown Manhattan, without anyone spilling a latte. That’s because this is a video game-like version of himself, an athlete caught inside a Samsung S7-enabled virtual reality ballpark, powered by EON Sports VR’s specially-made goggles and software. All of Andersen’s pitching tendencies can be seen up close—his pitch repertoire, how fast he throws each of them, and which part of the strike zone he often favors. In total, there are 50,000 different pitches available from thousands of MLB players that are all pulled from the cloud into Eon Sports’ “Project OPS” software for baseball players. “It’s like an advanced scouting report,” CEO Brendan Reilly told Fortune. He’s also making inroads into Major League Baseball—in April, the Tampa Bay Rays became the first MLB team to use virtual reality in their training. EON Sports VR set up a 10-foot-by-10-foot box called the “iCube” inside the Rays’ ballpark, where players get an up-close look of virtual replicas of real-life pitchers they could face, like a fastball from Los Angles Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw or a slider from New York Mets’ Noah Syndergaard. “The ball moves exactly as Syndergaard’s [real] ball would move,” Reilly explained....[continue reading on]

Troy Tulowitzki + Jason Giambi Try EON Sports VR's Project OPS at CES

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