Embodied Virtual Reality for Training and Performance
This proposal sought to perform a feasibility study for a fully immersive (proprioceptive/kinesthetic, physiological, visual, auditory) virtual environment that leads to the development of a flexible platform for embodied athletic training and psychomotor response measurement. The context for the training simulator was the decision-making process of an American football quarterback. The goal of this proposed feasibility study was to develop a viable prototype of a system that meets the basic requirements outlined below, thereby proving that further development of a robust system for a variety of studies is a viable outcome. The following technical requirements have been addressed in creating the prototype:
- Player motion capture, character modeling, rigging and animation
- Trainee/participant and ball tracking, avatar and ball modeling
- Voice recognition for scenario selection, start/stop
- Player physiological measurements and models
- Immersive sound based on Lane Stadium recordings
- HMD mounted in the helmet for the football task
- Plays with CG offensive and defensive players modeled, rigged, and animated based on known playbook and opponent tendencies
The technology in our system includes a VR headset , an immersive audio display, a high-end motion capture system, and custom software to allow for play selection, immersive simulation, and post-action debriefing. The system our team is building is high-fidelity, highly flexible, and allows full physical performance of the quarterback’s task.
The existing simulator is being prototyped in the ICAT Cube with its state-of-the-art systems for motion tracking (to track the quarterback and ball) and spatial audio (to simulate crowd noise, possibly affecting player performance). The intended use-case for commercialization would have the trainer/simulator installed in an indoor athletics practice facility or gymnasium.