Baltimore Ravens to Begin Practicing Against Holographic Players, Like 3D Life-Sized Madden
A number of NFL teams have recently started watching game film on virtual reality headsets. Now the Baltimore Ravens are taking things to the next level.
The Ravens have signed a one-year deal with Mixed River, a company that creates what they call “mixed reality” technology, according to a report from Jeff Barker of the Baltimore Sun. With this technology, the Ravens players will basically be able to step inside a 3D life-sized version of Madden.
The technology does not allow interactivity, so the Ravens can’t run plays against holographic opponents. However, it does allow them to view life-sized, field level simulations of opponents’ formations. It also allows them to run holographic simulations of their own playbook.
The advantage of this system over passively watching game film is that, with the use of a Microsoft HoloLens headset, the holographic players actually appear in the user’s physical environment. This in turn allows players to move around and line up against their holographic counterparts.
NFL free agent Yannick Cudjoe-Virgil, formerly of the Tennessee Titans, helped test Mixed River’s hologram technology earlier this month. He came away pretty impressed.
“It took me into a different type of reality,” Cudjoe-Virgil explained. “There were pre-snap motions, [holographic] guys were moving across the field. I just felt like I had to line up and play football.”
The whole idea is to help players learns plays without increasing physical trauma.
“One of the attractions to the technology is the ability to get those mental reps that don’t involve contact,” explains Damani Leech, the NFL’s vice president for football strategy and business development. “I think you see it with other technology — with the robotic tackling dummies to allow you to improve your tackling form without hitting another person.”
Unfortunately, right now the Ravens will only be using Mixed River simulations on 2D screens. However, they hope to implement the Microsoft HoloLens headsets—which cost $3,000 a piece—in the relatively near future.
Stay tuned. This could be a game-changer.
Hat Tip – [Baltimore Sun]