This virtual reality startup is training NFL quarterbacks to be the next Tom Brady

This virtual reality startup is training NFL quarterbacks to be the next Tom Brady

STRIVR is changing the way athletes prepare to play the world’s most physical sports.

Video source: Recode

Playing football is dangerous. Watching virtual reality is … not.

That’s why STRIVR Labs exists. The Silicon Valley-based VR startup is working with NFL and college football teams to train their athletes virtually, using a headset to help athletes experience game scenarios the same way they do on the field without physically jeopardizing their bodies.

“We’ve seen guys that couldn’t practice because of injury come into VR and put the headset on and actually go through [their] footwork at 10 percent speed,” explained STRIVR CEO and former Stanford kicker, Derek Belch. “[They] really get that one-tenth of the physical rep, but 100 percent of the mental rep. That mental edge is oftentimes what separates the pros from the Joes.”

STRIVR works with six NFL teams, including the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers, plus the recent NCAA College Football champions, the Clemson Tigers. Not a bad list of clients.

And while training high-caliber athletes is STRIVR’s core focus — these training deals can cost upward of six figures, Belch said — the company is also dipping its toes into another business: Entertainment.

STRIVR has created a goalie simulator, a chance for fans to put on a headset and stand in-net while hockey pros pepper them with slap shots. Three different NHL teams use the technology inside their arenas, and Belch says fans find it to be one of the more realistic VR experiences out there — in part because STRIVR uses actually video footage, not computer-generated graphics, for the demo.

“Ergonomically, you’re doing something real,” he explained. “It’s not a made-up experience.”

Source: Recode

Nokia introduces MIKA, a digital assistant for engineers and telecom operators

Nokia introduces MIKA, a digital assistant for engineers and telecom operators

Nokia’s got a nice, adorable name picked out for its new voice assistant. MIKA stands for “Multi-purpose Intuitive Knowledge Assistant,” letting engineers and telecom operators access information through voice commands.

The system is powered by the company’s cognitive services platform, using “augmented intelligence with automated learning to provide access to an extensive range of tools, documents and data sources.”

Essentially MIKA is designed to offer quick answers to engineer questions, based on experience drawn from other networks – so, it’s not entirely unlike Siri or Alexa, but it’ll provide answers to engineering questions, instead of turning on a smart lightbulb or checking the local weather.

The announcement comes as the company’s been building a fair amount of heat in the weeks leading up to Mobile World Congress. The world’s biggest phone show is set to see the once-beloved brand’s big return to the smartphone space it once so unceremoniously left behind.

Of course, that’s the HMD version, the Nokia name being licensed out by a local company formed from ex-pats of the tech giant. Those devices are more likely to get paired with Google Assistant than Nokia’s new offering.

Source: Tech Crunch

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