Derek Belch once took a class with Virtual Human Interaction Lab’s Jeremy Bailenson when he was a kicker on Stanford’s football team in 2007. He came in contact with VR for the very first time. Belch enquired Bailenson if it was possible to use the power of VR to train football players? But, sadly, the technology wasn’t ready back then in those years. But, Bailenson didn’t lose hope and started working on the project and now, his hard work has really paying him off well.
The response they get from football players and coaches is very positive and in that lieu, they decided to start a company, which they named it as STRIVR Labs so as to put their research into full function real practice. They signed up Auburn, Stanford, Clemson, Vanderbilt, Arkansas and Dartmouth as their official partners so as to continue their research. They have also started working with NFL teams which includes Vikings, Cardinals, Giants, Cowboys and Jets.
There is a lot of value that is being gained from this Virtual Reality training as it helps to detect an ongoing blitz, quarterbacks can watch themselves from the 360 degree footage and then they can even work on improving their throwing motion and footwork in the upcoming offseason.
Virtual Reality’s locomotion is an unsolved open problem, and that is why STRIVR Labs’ VR training is for football, basketball, baseball, and soccer, which is being shot by using a stationary 360 camera. There is one big challenge that STRIVR labs is facing is that the sample size for elite athletes is at the collegiate and professional level which is pretty small.