There is growing interest in utilising Virtual Environments (VEs) in the context of sports. In particular there is a desire to be able to improve sensorimotor skills rather than just using a VE as a tool for strategy analysis or entertainment. The skills required across all different sports are very large and varied. This project focusses on ball sports, in particular a VE for developing training skills in rugby. Such a VE needs to provide realistic rendering of the sports scene to achieve good perceptual fidelity. More important for a sport-themed VE is high functional fidelity, which requires an accurate physics model of a complex environment, real time response, and a natural user interface. The goal is to provide multiple scenarios to the player at different levels of difficulties, providing them with improved skills that can be applied directly to the real sports arena.
This is a multi-disciplinary project with expertise provided from computer science (including a full time PhD student), sports sciences and psychology academics, together with input from rugby players and coaches. A particular motivation is to contribute to a future Rugby World Cup win by Wales!