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Virtual and Augmented Reality Revolutionising Sport

by Beth Divine 29 Nov 2018

Virtual reality, now that the technology has been minimised and more or less perfected, has already shown itself to be tremendously useful in a number of fields, from education to health care to sports.

It is in the latter field that virtual reality, and its cousin augmented reality, is making huge strides and attracting massive investment. Professional sport is a multi billion dollar, world wide industry, and having the immense purses of professional sporting bodies open in the direction of AR and VR research has seen the technology advance in leaps and bounds.

While training can be improved by wearing a virtual reality headset, as previously discussed on this blog, play can also be improved with an immersive replay experience after a game. Particularly good pieces of set play can be replayed slowly and analysed, with augmented reality being placed over the gameplay to emphasise where improvements could be made, or where small errors were committed.

Should an injury occur, coaches and management can study the footage, examining the details of the play to see exactly how the injury occurred and, more importantly, how it could have been prevented. Such footage can also support a claim by the player that he or she had been fouled or deliberately injured, or, alternatively, clear someone of suspicion of such an act.

Of course, being able to use virtual or augmented reality to revisit game play means that the way that footage is captured has to be changed. Again, this is where the long pockets behind many sports teams come into play again. Game recording already tends to be amongst the best in the world, with fans able to see every second of play in high definition and slow motion, and the investment to transform gameplay into virtual reality will not be a huge shock to the financial managers.  

We are still only beginning to explore exactly what virtual reality and augmented reality can do to help us learn, play and be entertained. Who knows what wonders will occur once mainstream investment is focussed on making VR and AR the best it can be?