Earlier this week, virtual reality sports training company EON Sports VR announced a partnership with Major League Baseball team the Tampa Bay Rays. This new collaboration will see the team having batting practice in virtual reality.
The Rays will use a simulator from EON Sports VR called the iCube, a 10-ft. x 10-ft. x 10-ft. box. Players get to practice swinging, with 30 VR at-bats, against a virtual pitcher that mimics a vast array of human MLB pitchers. One pitch may be a 90 mile per hour fastball from San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner and the next could be New York Yankees star Masahiro Tanaka's dangerous splitter coming down across the virtual plate.
EON Sports VR employs the Sidekiq VR Headset, a mobile smartphone VR headset similar to the Samsung Gear VR, with eye tracking technology to get your swings as accurate as possible. Batters are trained in two specific areas: strike zone awareness and pitch tracking. For strike zone awareness, the batter deduces which pitches thrown were balls and which were strikes after each at-bat. For pitch tracking, batters will have to do the same, but in this case will have to decide if each pitch was a fastball, slider, curve ball, or change up.
The Kansas City-based EON Sports VR is turning into a popular training source for Tampa Bay sporting teams. Last July, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers became the first team in the National Football League to purchase EON Sports VR's Sidekiq football-simulator software.
Even without the iCube, anyone can practice their batting. EON Sports sells the complete baseball training simulation with a Sidekiq headset, as part of a Project OPS bundle, for $200. Included in the bundle are seven batting lessons from five-time All Star Jason Giambi in virtual reality.
EON Sports also sells personalized VR football training sessions for $50 each. One day, you may be able to train like any player in the world … virtually.