The Pro Football Hall of Fame has added Sports VTS' QB Sim for fans to use. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
The Pro Football Hall of Fame has added a virtual reality tool for quarterbacks, QBSIM, at its museum in Canton, Ohio, in advance of the Class of 2018 induction ceremonies on Aug. 4.
QBSIM is the brainchild of former Denver Broncos general manager Ted Sundquist. His company, Sports VTS (Virtual Training Systems), built the system to run wirelessly on an Oculus headset with the use of a tracker-laden football. The simulator uses 10 years of NFL data and artificial intelligence to build the VR training scenarios.
The Canton Repository noted that this was the first QBSIM installation outside of Sports VTS’ Colorado Springs headquarters. Sports VTS counts former NFL quarterbacks Jake Plummer and Jeff Garcia as advisors along with several scientific and technical consultants.
Immersive tools like VR are great for fan engagement—and for explaining the rigors and difficulty of certain positions in sports. As the company’s CTO, Brian DeLong, told the Repository, “We also call it the ‘quarterback empathy’ machine. For all of those people who sit on their couches on Sundays and second-guess a play.”
The real value of VR tools in the long run will be in the training environment, as the platform allows unlimited repetitions without the physical demands of gathering teammates and lining them up to run through play after play. The inclusion of a football in QBSIM enhances the efficacy of a drill for a quarterback, taking the program beyond film study and into practice.