British athletes are training using 360° and 3D simulations of course layouts ahead of major competitions.
Digital headset technologies are being used to integrate 3D video in new ways, aimed at providing a real benefit to a wide variety of summer sports including sailing, canoe slalom and triathlon and potentially winter sports such as bob sled, skeleton and ski slalom.
The new project, named VR-Vantage, is the latest development in an eight-year technology partnership between BAE Systems and UK Sport.
Providing a playback of 3D recorded material collated by engineers and trainers ahead of competition, VR-Vantage adapts the technology to the requirements of the Olympians and Paralympians.
The video playback can be viewed on smartphones as well as the latest headsets, giving athletes a fully immersive experience and allowing them to feel familiar in the environments in which they’ll be competing as well as understanding the undulations, twists and turns of a course layout ahead of competition.
Simon Timson, Director of Performance, UK Sport said, “Familiarity and practice in the competition environment, whether real or virtual, breads confidence in athletes. The advantages of virtual training should not be underestimated in the pursuit of excellence.
“This adaptation of new technology allows us to digitally bottle that experience for elite athletes and help them perform at their best. Every extra benefit we can offer our athletes ahead of elite competition is significant, so this innovative application of 3D Video and Virtual Reality technology should provide an advantage in helping athletes familiarise themselves with new courses.”