Drexel University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN18 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 463-472
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0195
Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain
The process of becoming a skilled player in a specific sport can take a considerable amount of time, including dedication and training. In many ball games this training will consist of placing the ball at a certain point by throwing it or kicking it, to either score a point or pass it to a teammate. The player will have the guidance of an experienced trainer who will give him or her the information needed to improve performance. Many of these trainers use imaginary paths, curves and lines to make other people understand how they move and how they expect the ball to travel.

Traditionally, such training techniques required the trainer to communicate how the players actions influence the balls travel either verbally or through drawings. With advances in technology we are now in a position where we can utilize Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) along with Motion Capture (Mo-cap) systems to create applications that are capable of visualizing these training techniques within fully immersive media environments in real time. And it is possible to create and access these training applications on readily available and easily accessible consumer hardware.

Recent work supports the idea of learning motor skills from watching a model in an immersive environment [1]. In [2], different types of AR/VR feedback was provided to the learners in order to help them improve their dance skills. Similar experiments exist that address the topic of basketball free throw using Virtual reality (VR). One approach consisted on creating a VR application to practice basketball free throws indoors [3]. While this system was tested only with professional players, the authors were able to conclude that the application was valid for the purpose of practicing basketball indoors.

In contrast, our system is targeted at casual players and consists of an aiming system implemented in Unity3D and displayed through a VR headset along with a motion capture system capable of tracking the movement of the ball in real time. For the purpose of testing the application prototype we utilized a state of the art Vicon motion capture system. However, the accuracy and low latency of recent consumer based tracking technologies such as the Microsoft Kinect or Hololens systems is sufficient so that the high end capture system could be replaced by easily accessible low cost alternatives.

In this paper, we present the overall design of the prototype system and discuss first study results as well as the feasibility of utilizing such training methods within educational institutions, such as K-12 schools, that currently do not have access to advanced sports skill training.

[1] K. Patel, J.N. Bailenson, S. Hack-Jung, R. Diankov, R. Bajcsy. "The effects of fully immersive virtual reality on the learning of physical tasks". Proceedings of PRESENCE 2006: The 9th Annual International Workshop on Presence. August 24 - 26, Cleveland, Ohio, USA. 2006.
[2] J.C.P. Chan, H. Leung, J.K.T. Tang, T. Komura. "A Virtual Reality Dance Training System Using Motion Capture Technology". IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 187-195. Apr-Jun 2011.
[3] A. Covaci, C.C. Postelnicu, A.N. Panfir, D. Talaba. "A Virtual Reality Simulator for Basketball Free-Throw Skills Development". Camarinha-Matos L.M., Shahamatnia E., Nunes G. (eds) Technological Innovation for Value Creation. 2012. IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, vol 372. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2012.
Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Immersive Media, Skill Training, Sports Education.