There’s a new turf war in sports — and it’s not on the field.
That “war” will soon include libraries, if Indiana University Bloomington (IU) gets the job done.
After businessman, investor, and philanthropist Mark Cuban — who is an alum of IU’s Kelley School of Business — donated $5 million to the school’s athletic department, a decision was made to tackle virtual reality.
“Director of Athletics Fred Glass said he hopes it keeps IU at the “vanguard” of a burgeoning field,” according to the Indy Star. “Kevin Wilson and Indiana’s two-person virtual reality staff have begun creating what Wilson called a “library” of plays.”
The three-dimensional virtual reality library of moves will allow players to study plays “not just from different angles, but from the viewpoints of different players on the field.”
“It really submerses you, like you’re in it,” Wilson said after a recent practice. “If the play’s moving, it’s kind of a lot going on. What you want to do is freeze it and then look around and talk.”
IU’s VR football library is just the latest in a series of virtual reality tech additions to athletic programs at universities. The technology is also making big inroads among national sports franchises.
“Cuban’s gift will allow Indiana to open the Mark Cuban Center for Sports Media and Technology inside Assembly Hall, once renovations to the arena are complete,” reported the Indy Star. “Indiana will also add green-screen studios to the center from the gift, and install freeD 360-degree cameras at both Assembly Hall and Memorial Stadium.”
Though the set-up may take time and not be fully functional until late in the football season, Glass is already looking down the road — this is Indiana, remember — and basketball season is always on IU’s mind.