The headset goes on and the baseball field appears. It’s just you, the plate, the bat, and the pitcher. There goes the pitch and you instantly recognize which one is going to come towards you. You clutch the bat, swing and hit the ball into the sky. TrinityVR’s DiamondFX batting simulation and data collection are designed to track and assess baseball batters from the high school level to the minor and major leagues.
We humans can’t mindread, but DiamondFX is the closest a player can get to learning how to recognize and interpret different pitching styles before or as they’re happening. SportTechie reports that just a year after TrinityVR’s release of DiamondFX, it is now being embraced by two major league organizations and are already seeing the VR simulation improve data collection on a batter’s pitch identification skills against a pro pitcher’s strikes and fouls.
Seeing an improvement in batting accuracy used to only come from repetition and hard work, and it still does. But there’s nothing like the mental preparation and confidence of knowing what to expect when a pitcher throws the ball or how many times a batter misses a particular pitch. If DiamondFX gains more traction in the baseball world like we think they will, players at the club and high school level will have an advantage that players before them never had — VR tech data.
Using virtual reality as a tool allows coaches and trainers to strap their players into a headset and get down to business. The brain is the most important performance tool in an athletes arsenal, and if you can help that player assess a pitcher’s hand, the grip on a ball, their own grip on the bat, and other pitching and batting subtleties, then you can prepare the player as efficiently as possible. Prepping and training the brain and body to anticipate pitches and giving players the opportunity to learn from their own mistakes will fare better for the athlete in the long run and will keep pitchers from overworking their money maker, their pitching arm.
In the same SportTechie article, TrinityVR Strategy Chief Rahat Ahmed explained that one baseball organization in Latin America had high school aged players that are seeing their pitch identification enhance by “53 percent to 66 percent.” This is a measurable improvement that can show players, coaches, and scouts can use the DiamondFX system to gauge athletic performance on a personal and career-defining level.
Baseball stats drive pro players, fans, fantasy league drafts and most importantly prospective professional or minor league players and the scouts searching for them. Getting pinpoint data on the swing speed and the angle of the hit from the VR setup and simulation of DiamondFX will help coaches and scouts get game-changing data on prospective players in an objective way.
Ahmed explained the advantages to adding TrinityVR’s DiamondFX to baseball, “When it comes to sports, especially baseball where milliseconds and millimeters make a significant difference in the outcome, you need to make sure that the quality of the data that you collect is as accurate as possible,” he said. “As a company, that is our No. 1 priority when we build our system.”
When there are student-athletes futures on the line it’s easy to see how having two or more competing players and teams would be a difficult decision to make for a scout. However, if those prospective players each have DiamondFX data in the system, the numbers will show who’s got the better batting advantage, making it easier to make decisions on the scout’s end.
The VR Gear
TrinityVR has a partnership with HTC Vive, so the DiamondFX simulation is compatible with the Vive VR headset. With that said, the sim uses Vive Trackers that can be attached to the end of any league level baseball bat, so players can use realistic bats on the days they use the training game and assessment tech so data input on grip, swing, and acceleration is consistent across trials.
The DiamondFX baseball simulation isn’t just limited to baseball players, it’s also got potential for public use at interested theme parks, malls, stadiums and other establishments. Longtime baseball fans who’ve longed for a moment in the spotlight will get their chance to step into the VR kiosk and see what being a batter is all about. This fun experience could help drive ticket sales and improve the overall interest in the sport from those who have never played or watched baseball before.
VR Fitness Homerun
Baseball is a data-driven sport and the future prospects of the minor and major leagues will see their hard work and training pay off when they’re being assessed by TrinityVR and the DiamondFX baseball simulation. The merger of VR and baseball is a pivotal moment that will change the future of athletics for the better.
Let us know if you’ve tested or participated in TrinityVR’s DiamondFX sports simulation and how it went in the comments section!