A digital baseball simulator might change how hitters practice
EON Sports activities VR is on a mission to vary sports activities coaching as we all know it. The younger, Kansas Metropolis-based mostly startup lately teamed up with retired MLB participant Jason Giambi on Venture OPS, a digital actuality baseball coach powered by a shopper headset. However that is not the one novelty EON Sports activities VR has been engaged on. Final June, it teased an interactive baseball hitting simulator, one that permits gamers to step right into a digital batting cage and apply their swing. As we speak, at CES 2016, I had the prospect to attempt it.
My first transfer, as instructed by EON Sports activities VR founder and CEO, Brendan Reilly, was to placed on a pair of movement-monitoring glasses, earlier than strolling into the simulator. When you’re contained in the 10ft x 10ft x 10ft field, you place your physique within the batter’s field and anticipate the simulator’s software program to start out throwing pitches. The entire system is managed by two projectors and a few Vicon movement seize cameras which are used to trace your viewpoint, with assist from the aforementioned, 3D-printed glasses.
The demo can final so long as you need it to, relying on what number of reps you are prepared to take. This is not meant for shoppers, nevertheless, however moderately gamers on the professional or school degree. The simulator is designed to recreate several types of pitches, comparable to fastballs, curveballs and alter-ups, utilizing knowledge gathered from skilled pitchers. “I wanna see what it is wish to play Madison Bumgarner [San Francisco Giants] earlier than I truly play Madison Bumgarner,” says Reilly, who provides that the most important problem was to make the ball flight appear reasonable.
Coaches utilizing the simulator can set it as much as throw pitches precisely the place they need hitting to see them, which could possibly be used to work on an individual’s batting weaknesses. Whereas I do image the advantages of EON Sports activities VR’s hitting simulator, since it might hold gamers from sporting out their physique, it is arduous to really feel such as you’re truly enhancing your expertise. Specifically, there is no haptic suggestions in your palms, arms or legs, as you’d get from picket or composite bats: you are principally simply posing in entrance of a projected display getting digital pitches thrown at you.
Reilly agrees, though he notes that Main League groups have not requested for the function, presumably as a result of they need it to stay a easy answer to conventional batting cages. That stated, EON is already engaged on a bat to enrich the simulator, which ought to assist ease my considerations. “The haptic [feedback] is the final domino to fall,” he says.