How This Former Pro Baseball Player is Using Virtual Reality to Train Players

As Virtual Reality reaches the precipice of wide-scale adoption, the $17 Billion industry is poised to disrupt everything from sports and entertainment to healthcare and real estate. The Business Brainstorm podcast recently caught up with Chris O’Dowd-founder of simulated sports training platform WIN Reality-to talk about the virtual reality industry and its impact on sports training. 

In 2017, after retiring from his career as a professional baseball player, O’Dowd launched WIN Reality to give future generations of baseball and softball players simulation-based training that prepares them for real-life game scenarios. 

“You train at a certain pace as a young player, and then you step into the batter’s box, and the pace is much quicker. There is no in-between for the training pace and the real game one,” says WIN Reality creates a bridge between those two places. O’Dowd says the experience is so real that he’s watched players jump out of the way when their headsets are on, and a virtual pitch comes close to them.

It’s difficult to project the scale and impact of the $17 billion virtual reality industry, but major players like Facebook, HTC, and Apple, are spending billions on making these products better and faster. WIN Reality is using its own capital-including an undisclosed seed round and a debt raise consisting of $3.75 million from Lago Innovation Fund-to develop new sports like softball, and create hardware improvements like pixelation reduction. Says O’Dowd, “We are seeing the kind of changes that we used to see with the iPhone each generation.”

Listen to the full conversation with Chris O’Dowd  here.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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