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NFL teams test virtual reality at 2015 training camp

Lauren Brousell | Aug. 7, 2015
Among all the talk of rookies, holdouts, fresh starts and, of course, the never-ending Deflategate conversation, there's buzz around a new topic at NFL training camps this year: virtual reality (VR).

Brendan Reilly, Eon Sports CEO, says scalability is an issue with the Go Pro method because the video only shows one player's perspective. On the other hand, the perspective can be switched from linebacker to wide receiver to quarterback, using computer-generated simulations. In just a few minutes, coaches can create any computer-generated scenarios they want, and players can view them through headsets, according to Reilly. In other words, teams could theoretically convert entire playbooks into VR simulations.

"Our engine breathes life into the Xs and Os," he says, because it also provides analysis of how well players understand the plays. "We know when you're in there at quarterback, if you've executed the throw correctly, and if you threw it on time."

Reilly says the Bucs use parts of both Eon's VR methods. He declined to specific how much the team pays for the system but said the cost for NFL teams generally is between $1,000 and $75,000, depending on usage.

Ultimately, VR will likely be most valuable to players who are decision-makers on the field, such as quarterbacks, linebackers and defensive backs, according to Fidelman. "Anyone that's got to read the offense or defense and make critical decisions in real time will find value from it."

 

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