Sports Virtual Reality

Eon Sports uses virtual reality to teach real football

Breeding the next crop of NFL superstars takes a ton of hard work and dedication both on the field and off. The development of an athlete’s skills is a delicate balance between repetition and on-field immersion, both of which are in short supply for those who are absolutely serious about the game of football. The EON Sports virtual reality simulator offers players the opportunity to practice anywhere at all and still get the immersion necessary to effectively train their on-field intelligence.

The EON Sports virtual reality simulator is the type of advance both players and coaches were waiting for, erasing the limits regarding where and how training can be accomplished. The simulator utilizes a modified version of Shoogee’s DIVE handsfree VR headset with an iOS, Android, or Windows smartphone loaded in. When combined, the headset provides players an authentic viewpoint from which to sharpen their ability to pick apart defenses or make snap decisions. EON Sports has not only created the system itself, but partnered with legendary coaches like Mike Ditka and Terry Shea to offer training sessions exclusive to the platform so players will learn from the best when they strap themselves in. The headset will cost $99 during the $50,000 campaign, after which it will go up to $129. Backers can expect their own simulator in May of 2015.

The EON Sports virtual reality simulator is a fantastic idea, but instead of assisting in the mastery of physical movement like Virtual Knockout or the Shoot Natural Glove, it only focuses on IQ through the use of a gaming controller. Although football intelligence is a vital part of the game, the option to train physical movements just isn’t present, a huge missed opportunity for true innovation rather than settling for what Google could have done with cardboard. What EON Sports has really done is provide valuable strategy from coaching legends and make it widely available, but wouldn’t making such useful advice widely know degrade its quality?

Cell Phone Accessories

Moobitalk takes a low-tech approach to allow hands-free car conversations

Cell phone usage while driving is not only dangerous, but illegal in most states. Many people, however, must suffer a long commute to work and simply can’t remain silent during the whole ride, whether they’re talking to work or their families. Moobitalk seeks to give commuters a way to take on the phone hands-free. It attaches to the seatbelt once it is already fastened. Then, when a call comes in, simply hit speaker phone and attach the phone’s screen to Moobitalk. It uses micro-suction technology to keep the phone in place without damaging the screen. Backers can nab the Swedish-made Moobitalk for £18 (~$29) with an estimated delivery date of December 2014. The hands-free device is hoping to raise £34,000 (~$54,000) on Kickstarter.

Moobitalk is a good idea, but executed poorly. Like many other car-centric devices, GPS’s and DVD players included, Moobitalk requires some setting up before use. So, while the driver is talking there are no hands being used, an incoming call still requires some set up. An ear-attached hands-free device that only requires the push of a button for picking and hanging up calls may be more safe for chatty drivers on the road. In addition, many newer cars come equipped with built-in Bluetooth technology, meaning that pretty soon most hands-free devices will be deemed unnecessary.