Virtual Reality Is Changing How We Learn and Play Baseball
Baseball is a classic American sport. Fans all over America flock to stadiums for hot dogs, Cracker Jacks and a fun-filled game. Ball games are an awesome place to socialize, spend time with friends and conduct business. However, the game is evolving. Virtual reality is transforming how people watch the game and how athletes play and train. For consumers, deep immersion using this cutting-edge technology creates a new and heightened appreciation for the game.
Since its inception, baseball has undergone many transformations. Nearly a century ago, radio was the only way to experience the game from afar. Eventually television arrived, an innovation which itself experienced advancements such as color and high-definition. Relatively recently, baseball fans have started to watch the game via streaming Internet feeds. At the same time, advanced technologies, such as the Game Day app, allows fans to view real-time box scores and detailed game information. A relatively new development in baseball, however, is the growing use of virtual reality by fans, players and stadiums.
The following segments reveal four ways that virtual reality is creating the next big transformation of America’s favorite pastime.
Change 1: More Stadiums Are Using VR
Fans can watch live video websites such as MLB.tv and view different feeds and teams, while receiving play-by-play stats and scores. Many avid fans have watched the game on-screen while viewing detailed stats on their smart devices or computers. However, they can now watch the game from a completely different perspective using virtual reality technology to immerse themselves in a digital, but highly realistic, environment. Today’s VR viewers use a physical remote to view the actions of their favorite team as well as statistics. As an example, sports software engineers have used VR to improve the familiar strike zone tracker by adding a three-dimensional perspective and color-coded hot zones as well as ball tracking heat trails.
Change 2: Technology Is Advancing Baseball Training and Nutrition
Baseball players consistently look for ways to improve their skills and athletic abilities, including learning healthy habits and getting the most out of their exercise routines. Because of the increase in mental health diagnoses, with 1 in 6 people in the United States, needing assistance with mental illness, it’s important that committed athletes take time to find a balance in their game and wellbeing.. Today’s players need detailed analytics to enhance their performance for this extremely competitive sport. Technologies such as VR and big data analysis helps amateurs and professionals stay in shape, improve their performance and maintain their wellbeing. The technologies help them to maximize their nutrition intake as well as improve their workouts and training as well as excel on the field.
Change 3: Players Are Using VR to Improve Their Skills
From video games to virtual training, amateur and professional athletes are using technology to play better. Young competitors are using video games and VR simulations to learn the intricate dynamics of baseball. Additionally, today’s aspiring baseball stars train at advanced training facilities on artificial pitcher’s mounds. Using infrared cameras, motion capture technology and special baseballs, high-tech trainers collect and analyze detailed data about each athlete’s performance. For motion capture analysis, for example, sports scientists place small dots on players and record their movements while training. This innovation allows sports researchers to collect an amazing amount of information about players’ abilities. Trainers use the resulting data to develop drills to help athletes improve their performance.
Change 4: VR Is Improving the Game Experience
Using VR, aspiring baseball professionals are beginning training at a young age. However, virtual reality is also enhancing the game experience and increasing fan interest. Major League Baseball officials believe that the technology will pique the interest of a growing number of fans. It provides an interactive experience for viewers. VR allows fans to watch live games and replays, record segments with amazing vantage points and view incoming pitches from the catcher’s position. Along with improved menus and amenities, more stadiums are incorporating advanced technologies such as VR to improve the game going experience.
Despite the complexity of VR, the innovation is easy to use. With a relatively inexpensive Daydream View headset, fans can start the exciting journey into the next evolution of baseball. The technology allows fans to take their desktop or mobile experience to an entirely new level.
Virtual reality can never replace the feeling of going to a live game. Still, innovative apps such as At Bat VR are taking the fan experience to a new level. As a result, VR is slowly becoming a new standard for baseball fans. In fact, it’s possible that the technology will create a renaissance for America’s favorite sport.