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LA Times: Virtual reality technology is gaining a foothold in baseball as an aid in game preparation

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To the plethora of statistics, video clips and scouting reports accessible with the tap of an iPad, add an even more cutting-edge interactive tool that players began using in game preparation this season: virtual reality.

The Tampa Bay Rays are among several teams that have made six-figure investments in a baseball hitting simulator known as an iCube. Players don 3-D motion-tracking glasses, step into a small room that replicates a stadium and have a pitcher on a screen throw to them in true detailed form.

“It’s a huge advantage because sometimes you don’t see guys very often,” Rays outfielder Steven Souza said before last Wednesday’s game against the Dodgers in Tropicana Field.

“Take Alex Wood. We’re going to see him one time this year, maybe once in the next six years. So being able to see him on the screen, what it actually looks like, is going to make for a little more familiarity before we get in the box.” Read More.

Yahoo Tech

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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. https://www.yahoo.com/tech/tampa-bay-rays-now-using-160930210.html

NBC Sports Radio Erik Kuselias Show: How EON Sports VR and Jason Giambi let you train, even in the snow

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Erik Kuselias of the Erik Kuselias Show on NBC Sports Radio interviewed Jason Giambi partner with EON Sports VR‘s new Project OPS.

“If both your parents work, and it’s snowing outside and you can’t make it to the cages that day, you just snap it in and take your reps. There’s nothing better in the world than taking those reps of that baseball coming at you,” said Jason Giambi.

Erik Kuselias: So you’re working with Project OPS, developed by EON Sports VR. It’s the world’s first Virtual Reality “hitting thing”. Tell us more about that.
Jason Giambi: It’s unbelievable. It’s really the most unbelievable thing I’ve ever seen. Like I said earlier, I didn’t grow up in the whole “techie” revolution. So, when they approached me to come and be a part of this, you know, because I have 20 years experience in the big league, I had a really good eye, knew how to take at bats. So they [EON Sports VR] approached me, they asked, ‘Hey, what fathers, or sons, daughters, want to become better baseball players, what’s the first thing you tell them?’ I said, ‘hey, listen if you want to be a better hitter, no doubt, right here right know, know the strike zone. All those lessons will finally pay off, all those hitting times in the batting cages, at the tee, will pay off if you swing at strikes…

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CBS Sports Radio: One of the “best MLB teammates ever played with”, is now training you with Virtual Reality software Project OPS, created by EON Sports VR

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Jim Rome of CBS Sports Radio, interviewed Jason Giambi about his past, present, and how his current partnership with EON Sports VR is tying it all together.

MLB Legend, Jason Giambi, Quick Facts:
20 year Major League player
2000 American League MVP
2005 come-back player of the year
Five-time All Star
Two-time Silver Slugger
440 career home runs
Nearly 1400 career walks

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Tech Radar Newsroom: Former New York Yankees slugger is training amateurs to hit a home run – in VR

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Baseball gaming simulators like MLB: The Show try to recreate the excitement and challenge of professional baseball, but these hardly improve your actual athletic skills. To that end, one sports VR company is using the latest advancements in virtual reality technology to combine the fun and challenge of a game simulator with realistic graphics and effective batting practice. Plus, it’s got former MLB slugger Jason Giambi going to bat for it.
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