You heard about Tupac Shakur’s appearance at last month’s Coachella music festival? The deceased rapper appeared on stage thanks to some techno-wizardry, which immediately set the music industry abuzz.
Well, some similar technology could someday translate to the football field, and new Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has been studying just how it might work.
Griffin needed only three years to complete his bachelor’s degree in political science at Baylor and immediately began working on his master’s in communications. When we visited with Griffin before the draft, he explained that all he needs to complete the degree is either a thesis paper or a film. He said he’ll likely go the film route and explained the subject area.
“It’s something called mixed reality,” he said.
While the technology isn’t necessarily identical to the mechanics behind the Tupac appearance, Griffin says his film will focus on using mixed reality in football. He envisions a training scenario in which an athlete can go into an indoor facility and line up alongside 10 “projected” teammates, facing a “projected” defense.
“Say I want to go against Ravens defense,” Griffin said, “I can type in ‘Ravens’ defense,’ and boom, I’ve got 11 animated Ravens defensive players. ...actual 3-D images of guys, where you can see them coming at you, a more real-life feeling.”
The technology exists and plenty of people are working in this area, but Griffin says it would take a lot of money for it to gain widespread use in the football world. It’s at least five or 10 years away, he predicts.
His final project would be a film that focuses on the possibilities. Griffin envisions a coaching environment that can change how Xs and Os are taught.
“Say you want to do mental reps. You can just stand there, look at the defense -- say it’s cover-2, cover-4, cover-6, whatever coverages you want,” Griffin said. “They can line up in that coverage, they can blitz out of it and you can get ready for that defense.”
It’d be like stepping inside a Madden video game. Griffin has other things to focus on now -- like the Redskins’ playbook, for example -- but he says he hopes to finish his master’s degree in the coming year.
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