Earlier this week, virtual reality sports training company EON Sports VR announced a partnership with Major League Baseball team the Tampa Bay Rays. This new collaboration will see the team having batting practice in virtual reality.
The Rays will use a simulator from EON Sports VR called the iCube, a 10-ft. x 10-ft. x 10-ft. box. Players get to practice swinging, with 30 VR at-bats, against a virtual pitcher that mimics a vast array of human MLB pitchers. One pitch may be a 90 mile per hour fastball from San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner and the next could be New York Yankees star Masahiro Tanaka’s dangerous splitter coming down across the virtual plate.
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EON Sports VR employs the Sidekiq VR Headset, a mobile smartphone VR headset similar to the Samsung Gear VR, with eye tracking technology to get your swings as accurate as possible. Batters are trained in two specific areas: strike zone awareness and pitch tracking. For strike zone awareness, the batter deduces which pitches thrown were balls and which were strikes after each at-bat. For pitch tracking, batters will have to do the same, but in this case will have to decide if each pitch was a fastball, slider, curve ball, or change up.
The Kansas City-based EON Sports VR is turning into a popular training source for Tampa Bay sporting teams. Last July, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers became the first team in the National Football League to purchase EON Sports VR’s Sidekiq football-simulator software.
Even without the iCube, anyone can practice their batting. EON Sports sells the complete baseball training simulation with a Sidekiq headset, as part of a Project OPS bundle, for $200. Included in the bundle are seven batting lessons from five-time All Star Jason Giambi in virtual reality.
EON Sports also sells personalized VR football training sessions for $50 each. One day, you may be able to train like any player in the world … virtually.