Former NFL GM Partners With Serious Simulations to Create a VR Headset

Aug 18, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) throws before the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Virtual Reality is on a tear through the sporting world. New and more digitally advanced devices are being developed, modified, and enhanced more rapidly than ever before.

Serious Simulations LLC, a veteran-owned company who designs and manufacturers human motion based VR training devices for the military as well as small group simulators, decided to dive into the world of professional football.

The virtual reality headset was revealed at the NFL’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony this month in Canton, OH. The technology mounts a camera to a football helmet so fans could experience life as a quarterback by wearing the wireless helmet in a 40'x40' playing arena.

said Serious Simulations CEO Chris Chambers.

“Our technology lends itself to a variety of skill sets…Sports had always been a target of ours,” said Serious Simulations CEO Chris Chambers to the Orlando Sentinel.

In 2015, Serious Simulations decided it was essential to focus on reducing latency problems in regards to their VR technology. They wanted to decrease the amount of time it takes for the visual display to respond to an individual’s head movement.

In 2016, Chambers was connected with Denver Broncos GM, Ted Sundquist, who had planned to launch a Sports Virtual Training System in Colorado to create a more realistic feeling headset. While Chambers’ company worked to advance their technology, Sundquist built the simulator.
“The key to our simulator’s success is the integration of the latest technology in the marketplace,” Sundquist told the Sentinel.

Players from both the Ravens and Bears — and NFL commissioner Roger Goddell — were able to test out the revolutionary helmet in a private session before the pre-season NFL Hall of Fame game.

“It’s a great feeling that it came together…We didn’t expect to have to change so much from the military version. But it was good to see people react well to it,”Sundquist added.

The world of VR is continually changing, evolving and working to create a more realistic environment. Serious Simulations did state that they are still working to tweak and modify the technology for a more realistic experience. Additionally, they are working to decrease the helmet’s weight along with tweaking the software itself.