Innovators: Aerospace & Technology
Florida inventions: From the combat field to the football field ...
» Dan Anton
It’s in the game, and then some. A Sanford company builds on the scout team idea by creating a computer alternative, in virtual reality, that lets college players face their opponent’s blitzes and formations in detail that extends right down to the jersey colors.
Players can get in a studio with high-tech 3-D motion capture cameras and head-mounted displays that put them into the video action. If the players don’t grasp the play drawn on the board, they can run through it with a customized 3-D playbook.
The price for the highly customized products depends on the number of features a team wants. Desktop models run from $35,000 up to $100,000; the sport motion studio system goes from $250,000 to $500,000. “It’s as precise as the coach wants it to be,” says XOS founder Dan Aton. Aton stepped down as CEO last year; he says it’s more fun to be head tech than fulfill CEO duties such as HR and legal.
Aton says the systems help college coaches recruit players, impressing parents that their kids will have the best.
Next up? Making the technology available down the athletic food chain from BCS contenders to lesser collegiate powers and even the high school level. But, Aton says, with the cost of motion-capture cameras, “It’s hard to scale some of these things down.”
Meanwhile, XOS this year, for the fanatic fan, created an online searchable archive of field video, statistical info, alternative-angle replays and recruiting profiles.