Virtual Reality in Soccer Training: Companies’ SWOT

Introduction

For many decades, scientists have invented systems to evaluate various parameters about individuals’ performance in sports. The main focus has been to come up with a type of technology that can optimize some movements. A good example of such technology is the video playback. However, the video playback has limitations because it relies on a fixed viewpoint. VR is a new technology that has overcome the limitations related to the video playback (Bideau et al. 14).

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Specifically, it provides an interactive environment, and thus simulates the real environment with hearing, touching and visual features. This type of technology presents an alternative application in remote control robot, military training, and in coaching (Chen 15). Therefore, the use of VR technology in soccer training presents a great opportunity for coaches and players to enhance the training sessions. The following is an analysis of the competitiveness of VR Technology in soccer training compared to its peers. SWOT Analysis is a strategic model used to carry out the analysis.

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis is a strategic model that serves to find out the match between the weaknesses and strengths of an organization. It uncovers trends affecting business based on the internal and external environment, i.e. the opportunities and threats that determine the performance of the business in the market place (Rizzo and Kim 120). Strengths entail the unique resources and strategies that position a product to perform well in the market.

Weakness entails limitations that can derail a product from competing favorably while opportunity relates to the environment of operation. The opportunities can be considered to be the internal or external forces that affect the performance of a business entity in a given market. On the other hand, threats include situations that are not favorable for the product and thus entail barriers that limit the achievement of the set goals in any given organization.

Competitors

As noted, one of the threats to the market entry is the competitors who have a considerable market share. To acquire a market share and secure a niche for the VR technology system, there will be a need to come up with marketing strategies to advance the goal of VR Technology. This will entail relying on the strengths of the VR technology and exploiting the opportunities that already exist in the market and those inherent in the new technology. Besides, the strategies should ensure that all weaknesses and threats are addressed. This should be done to the competitors’ capabilities. Thus, the following section applies SWOT to analyze the competitors.

STRIVR Labs

One of the competitors is the STRIVR labs which use real video for the team’s players to ensure customized experience. STRIVR Labs offer the coach the real footage and it is not animated. Secondly, it allows the players to have an immersive experience. The technology allows the coaches to follow their players in real-time (George Schroeder par. 3). They can see what the players are viewing.

This is achieved through a high definition monitor, it also provides the coaches the capability to speak to the players through wireless speakers in the ear hence giving the ability to instruct the players. In a soundproof room, they can identify the weaknesses and strengths of the players. This approach allows the coach to devise strategies that are best suited in such cases given that they have full knowledge of the weaknesses, as well as the strengths of the players.

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Strengths

The brand has already been presented in the market and it has been used by coaches to enhance the performance of their athletes. The program already enjoys support across different sporting programs and it is accredited for accelerating the transformational learning moments. Even though the STRIVR uses a similar VR platform that allows players to have immersive experience just as the VR technology, it does not provide real-time data feedback. The technology also does not capture the real performance of the players. This is unlike the VR technology in which each player has a sensor that ensures real-time capture of the performance.

Despite having been presented in the market, STRIVR does not provide the after-match analysis. This is unlike our VR technology for training soccer which presents an improved technology that allows a precise control of stimulus delivery hence giving realistic training for players and the coach. For example, the players and the coach can watch a playback video to have a clear vision of what happened about a given scene. By using the first person view the players can understand what they did, the mistakes they made, as well as understand the best ways to correct those mistakes. Such a feature lacks in STRIVR Labs.

Weaknesses

The STRIVR lab does not have animations. It is based on real-time monitoring of the players. This implies that it does not have gaming features. This aspect is comparable to the limitation inherent in our VR technology that relates to the interaction methods. For example, the ability to design efficiently and to provide the methods used for the human interaction is limited due to the complexity of the system. In the case of our VR technology, it is a new technology in soccer training and thus the challenge can be overcome by employing and training experts who know virtual reality technology. Also, unlike the STRIVR which is easily used during the real-time player action, our system uses specific hardware hence the lineation for capacity. The weakness can be overcome by relying on modern CPU and GPU technology to allow off-field training.

Opportunities

As noted, STRIVR provides the coaches with real-time analysis of the players without the use of animations. This gives the coach the chance to have an interactive section with players. The STRIVR is a new technology that has a room for improvement in capturing the emerging needs of players and coaches. Similarly, our VR technology is an emerging technology that has a processing power and video integration. The features allow interactive graphics, which form a suitable way of tracking user behavior through the use of wired sensors. Such a feature makes this technology viable in the modern CPU and GPU technology. Therefore, its compatibility and user-friendliness present an opportunity for the VR Technology to penetrate the market easily.

Threats

The major threat relates to competition from other brands that have embraced the VR technology in training. Even though STRIVR technology has been mainly used in soccer training, there are many competitors such as EON Sports VR. About our VR product, it is very new in the market and hence its penetration is likely to be slow. Similarly, VR technology in soccer training faces competitors who have been in the market for a long time. For example, there are already established technologies such as beyond Sports, which is being used in the market thus increasing the level of competition. Our system can overcome the challenges associated with competition due to the superior technology and integration of the virtual simulation with the gaming components that attract many people.

EON Sports VR

The EON Sport VR uses visualization applications. It provides state of the art 3D display technology. Besides, the EON Sports VR provides stereoscopic and immersive viewing. It can be used in glass free stereo display systems, portable tablet PCs and in immersive rooms that have multi-channel projection walls. The EON Sports VR allows the players to have repetitions to understand their moves. It also maximizes time and helps in the development of better skills in players.

Strengths

The brand allows the coach to collaborate with other club’s staff to convert field plays into 3-D models that are easily replayed. The replay is made possible through different perspectives to any of the players, and thus provides a wide view of players. Even though the EON Sports VR has almost similar features to our system, it lacks the real-time analysis of the performance of the players. This is unlike our VR system in which each player has a wireless sensor that relays the actual capabilities of the players. VR technology provides real-time performance feedback which ensures that it gives the coaches enough time to make the players comprehend the various moves during the training session. For example, when training on free-kick, players have real-time feedback on their progress in relation to the use of power and ball precision.

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The VR technology provides the players and the coach with a self-guided exploration and practices that are independent. This feature ensures that the player can do self-assessment at the comfort of the home. The coach can also have enough time to study the strengths of the players. This improves the knowledge of coaches. These key strengths make our VR technology system very competitive.

Weaknesses

Unlike the STRIVR, it does not have real-time player action. It relies on the replay. In comparison between our VR and the brand EON, the analysis takes place in the virtual reality environment. This makes it difficult to move as it would be in the real world. However, this challenge is mitigated during the actual field practice where the player can apply the learned moves in real-time.

Opportunities

The gaming features present a marketing point. Players enjoy the training sessions as an entertainment but at the same time ensuring the seriousness to learn as it would be in the field training. This relates to our VR technology that has a computer-based application that capitalizes on entertainment hence many people are attracted to the technology. Even though it may be misconstrued for entertainment, the main purpose is to enhance training. Besides, the use of VR technology for soccer training purposes supplements serious games that have in the past been used primarily for training and learning. For example, V-Pong is a serious game, an immersive table tennis simulation that enables the players to have real-time interaction with the ball (Brunnett, Rusdorf and Loren, 12)

Threats

The highest threat in the use of VR in soccer training may be limited due to the perception that as a training tool, it can lead to the need to eliminate coaches in soccer training. Also, there are perceptions that players will have a high preference for virtual training, which may negate the need to attend the field training. This may compromise the physical abilities of the player and impact negatively on the teamwork.

Beyond Sport

Beyond Sport is a brand that will present our VR technology with stiff competition. The brand is diversified and has already been presented in the market. Beyond Sport is an integrated brand that provides different services to the coaches and players. It provides custom scenarios, and match analysis.

Custom Scenario

One key provision of Beyond Sport is custom training scenarios which it does during consultation with sports clubs and coaches. It provides interactive training scenarios to educate players as per the requirements of the coach. In so doing, it helps in improving spatial awareness, decision-making skills, and high training density.

Match analysis

It provides the players with tactical top view and helps the players understand their opponents’ perceptions. It uses match data to visualize distances, the formation of the team, and the speed of the players and tactical capability of the opponents. Through the use of the match data, it enables discussion of the past decisions. In addition, it has a visual communication tool.

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Strengths

It provides fans with the ability to visit the match in virtual capability. The fans can also relive the highlights of matches based on the perspective of their favorite players. It makes the fans experience what it could have been if they were on the field. The Beyond Sport is safe and the players can train at the comfort of their seats. Similarly, our VR technology for training soccer has safe testing and training environment.

The soccer players normally get tired and need time to rest. The VR can be used during the relaxing moment to help them reexamine their performance and understand new ways to overcome challenging situations without getting tired. This is supplemented by Curing Stimuli Support that allows Error-free learning. Also, it has the gaming factors that motivate the players and the coach. It elicits the feeling of the computer game but at the same time ensuring that the player discovers new things like the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent. For example, the gaming feature ensures that a player or a coach participates in a gaming task and becomes less focused bearing in mind that they are not being evaluated which in turn results in the pure gauge of the players’ abilities.

It has been common that many players get injured just a few days or hours to a soccer match. No matter how they take care of their body, but it is usually easy to get injuries during practice. Using VR technology could help players avoid injuries. VR training could be a more safe way in training especially a few days to the real encounter; thus, players can rely on VR technology and just do light exercise to keep fit. The VR system we are presenting to the market has wearable biosensor on players which could help collect their body performance.

Weaknesses

The gaming features allow the players to train in an environment that is not natural, i.e. training without real weather conditions. This component of the Beyond Sport may limit the actual performance of the player. Similarly, our VR system has the same weakness. However, this has been overcome by the use of sensors that record the motion and performance of the players during the actual field play. Therefore, the use of sensors allows players to know their actual performance and how they translate to beat the opponent.

Opportunities

It builds the mental capability of team members. This supports the research that the visualization of success can lead to powerful effects (Liao 312). Through the virtual visualization, players have the chance to feel what it is like to make new moves tangibly. In relation to the VR technology in soccer training, the VR technology presents Real-time data analysis and intelligence. For instance, the ability to sense 3D behavioral action and process and then process feedback that is applied to enhance learning is achieved through an error-free paradigm. The feedback is very useful as it is automated through the use of motion data.

Therefore, for soccer players, it will give virtual humans that are realistic in the physical appearance and behavior. Such components present superior qualities incomparable to the peers in the market. Therefore, at the market, the superior technological features serve as self-marketing factors. Hence, they present an opportunity for the coaches and football clubs to be attracted to the product.

The gaming industry drivers are another aspect of the VR technology that gives an excellent opportunity. In the contemporary society, interactive gaming applications have become a standard reference for many people. Statistics show that the gaming industry has surpassed the Hollywood film industry. This shows the widespread acceptance of technologies that have gaming components. Therefore, the gaming component is an opportunity for the VR technology to penetrate the market.

Apart from the inherent features, soccer has become more competitive and soccer clubs and coaches have embraced the use of technology to enhance the training experience for their players. Besides, any technology that is environmentally friendly and can promote performance will be readily acceptable. Therefore, the combination of the ready market factors and the superior technological features that are compatible with GPU and CPU used across the globe and the gaming drivers is an excellent opening for pushing the VR technology to the world of soccer. Besides, VR sports training is still a new topic, especially in soccer, only Beyond Sports also focus on this part. People will be excited to welcome the new technology and hence the product is likely to gain a lot of acceptance.

Conclusion

Based on the SWOT analysis our product provides excellent soccer training solutions and gaming capabilities to revolutionize training. The only competitor with closer provisions is the Beyond Sport. However, the competitor has already been in the market and enjoys a substantial market share. Being a new technology in the world of soccer it is expected that it will excite the players, fans, and coaches who have already embraced the gaming technology. Strategies will be devised to penetrate the market and ensure profitability.

Works Cited

Bideau, Benoit, Richard Kulpa, Nicolas Vignais, Sebastien Brault and Frank Multon. “Using virtual reality to analyze sports performance.”Computer Graphics and Applications 30.2 (2010): 14-21. Print.

Brunnett, Guido, Stephan Rusdorf and Mario Lorenz. “V-Pong: an immersive table tennis simulation.” Computer graphics and applications 26.4 (2006):10-13. Print.

Chen, Lei. “Discussing to the application of virtual reality technology in competitive sports for simulation training.” Computer Modeling & New Technologies 19.3(2015), 14-16. Print.

George, Schroeder. n.d. Virtual reality becomes a reality for college football. n.d. Web.

Liao, Ting. Application of virtual reality technology to sports, Wuhan: sports training department, 2015. Print.

Rizzo, Albert, and Gerard Kim. “A SWOT analysis of the field of virtual reality rehabilitation and therapy.” Presence 14.2 (2005): 119-146. Web.

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