Virtual reality technology has opened up many doors for multiple industries, including retail, manufacturing, and real estate. Today, technology has also become an extremely beneficial fixture in the field of sports. Having gone beyond recreational purposes, virtual reality technology can now help athletes improve their skills and enhance their mental and physical balance—all with less risk of injury.
In this article, let’s talk about some of the specific sports that are benefitting the most from virtual reality technology and why VR has become such an important part of these fields:
Many modern shooting ranges now have virtual shooting range equipment that allows users to shoot at digital targets with real guns and ammunition. Aside from allowing shooting range businesses to save money on physical targets, VR technology also helps users have a safer and more interactive experience.
This kind of shooting range technology also allows users to train for real-life scenarios, something that physical targets may not accomplish. With VR, shooters can train for things like home invasions, competitions, and law enforcement training scenarios, among many others.
The NBA uses virtual reality to provide basketball fans with a more interactive experience during games. VR has also become an extremely useful part of training in the NBA, allowing players to improve decision-making skills in-game. One great application of which is defense training. During training, the player wears a motion capture suit and trains in various virtual defensive scenarios; the system captures the player’s actions and provides corrections when the player makes bad offensive decisions.
VR allows basketball teams to take advantage of creating repeatable scenarios in a controlled environment, thus allowing for more effective training and more precise corrective actions. In times of COVID, VR has also proven to be a beneficial training tool while social distancing protocols are still in place, making a close contact sport like basketball difficult to train for in real life.
Online poker serves more than just a recreational purpose. While it is widely used by casual players, it can also help professional poker players improve their skills through an interactive VR experience. While it does not help enhance their “poker face,” online poker can help players learn basic and advanced moves that would prove useful in a real-life game.
With the advancement of this technology, virtual reality poker games can already hold professional poker tournaments and cash games. As VR continues to develop, we can only expect other casino games to follow suit.
Like the NBA, the NFL and college teams have also incorporated virtual reality technology into their practices, allowing players to train without going to an actual football field. VR technology in American football operates on the same principle as that of the tech in basketball. Players wear motion capture technology and goggles to simulate real-life scenarios in-game. Using actual players and playbooks, players can practice various moves and improve their snap-second decisions as if they were in an actual game.
VR technology can also help amateur athletes improve their chances of recruitment. Because of the immersive experience that VR can provide, aspiring professional football players can experience what it’s like to be in a locker room, a pregame session, and a game without having to go through it in real life just yet.
Virtual reality technology for racing games has allowed recreational players to experience what it’s like being a professional race car driver without the actual danger of the real thing. Today, gaming systems involve more than just a steering wheel and pedals; these systems come with race car seats that simulate the feeling of actually being inside the car through vibrations and movements.
However, recreational players are not the only ones finding the benefit of VR technology. NASCAR racers can also use the technology to supplement their training on the track with fewer occupational work hazards. VR technology even includes the sounds of the car, the roar of the crowd, and the instructions of other team members being yelled into one’s ear for a truly immersive experience.
Virtual technology has come a long way ever since it was introduced to the gaming world. Through continuous development and application, VR is now a vital staple to the training programs of various sports teams and individual athletes. With how fast technology develops nowadays—especially when it comes to VR—we can only expect to see more improvements and hybrid training programs in the future.