Popular Mechanics Newsroom: NFL Teams Are Now Practicing Plays in Virtual Reality

It’s not just about selling more tickets to fans. The NFL is looking to use VR as a tool in practice to gain a competitive edge.
It was only a matter of time before professional sports got into the virtual reality game.

Last week, for example, the NBA along with Turner Sports and NextVR broadcast the opening night game between the Golden State Warriors and the New Orleans Pelicans in VR.

But what if you could use the technology to do more than just give fans a 3D game experience from home? Imagine if you could show fans what it’s like to be sitting on the bench next to their favorite players listening to the coach give a pre-game speech, or give a fan the perspective of a running back as he breaks off a 50-yard touchdown run. The most interesting question of all (for NFL teams at least): what if we could use VR to win more games? That question plays a big part in NFL Next, an eight-episode video series that takes a look at the future of professional football, from computer chips in shoulder pads to drone use to virtual practices for players.

The obvious implementation for virtual reality in the NFL is ticket sales. If the league could sell $10 virtual tickets to the Super Bowl to even a fraction of the 115 million viewers who watch the big game, it would make a killing. Of course, this assumes that people own VR headsets, which… we don’t yet.

Read the full story here.

2015-11-06T00:07:27+00:00