Griffith University will take part in a $100,000 project to develop its virtual reality training simulation designed to emulate track cycling at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Leigh Ellen Potter, Director of the Innovative Design and Emerging Applications Lab at Griffith University, said the introduction of this innovative technology would help coaches and athletes explore new areas of performance.
“For cyclists preparing for the Commonwealth Games, it is capable of integrating real and virtual data while providing the sights and sounds of competing at a world-class competition,” she said.
“It creates an immersive, realistic training simulation with real-time feedback to prepare and train elite athletes,” Dr Potter said.
The simulator combines a virtual reality headset with bespoke software and a special stationary cycle to visually experience riding on the 2018 Commonwealth Games velodrome.
Commonwealth Games athletes helped record the track at the Chandler Velodrome, providing a realistic benchmark and supporting an authentic training experience.
Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch and Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni announced the training simulator was one of three sporting innovations backed by the Palaszczuk Government.
Mr de Brenni said technology like the simulator could one day be as common-place as fitness trackers were now.
“It has some exciting implications for the future of sport, since it enhances the competitiveness of our elite athletes who measure improvements in their performance in milliseconds and for whom the tiniest of margins can mean the difference between winning and losing,” Mr de Brenni said.
“If this technology can help everyday Queenslanders to have a go and take up a new form of exercise, then we’re on to a winner.”
Ms Enoch said the three innovations would share in $300,000 from the Advance Queensland Sport Science Challenge.
Ms Enoch said the recipients would work with sporting and industry partners to refine their high-tech offerings over the next year so they are ready for market.
“The Advance Queensland Sports Science Challenge was designed to support Queensland’s entrepreneurial talent, with sports-related innovations that will have flow-on benefits for all Queenslanders,” Ms Enoch said.
“Technology like this can give our elite athletes the edge and reinforce Australia’s reputation for outstanding sporting achievement, but also promote healthy and active lifestyles through greater participation in sport and exercise which is so vital to improving the health of our people.”
Written by Laura Daly.