Interview: How Razil Player is Training Real-Life Athletes on PSVR2
Push Square: While researching Razil Player, we noticed that the language in all of the official materials leans more toward “sports training app” than “video game.” Just to align expectations, do you see this as more of an ally for athletes than an everyday experience for gamers?
Andy Hesse: Razil Player is an ever-growing collection of sports training games that will improve your performance and reaction time in a wide range of sports. Primarily, this is a training app, but through the gamification of training, we have made your skills more fun and competitive so that players can enjoy their sports experience and athletes as well. Razil Player has received strong feedback from gamers as well as athletes due to its ability to feel like a game. This creates entertainment value for our gaming audience while helping them acquire new skills and increase their fitness levels without them even noticing!
What sets Razil Player apart from other fitness and training products already available for VR headsets like the PSVR2?
Rezil is used around the world by athletes in a wide range of different sports, from the academy level to World Cup winners. Our training games are developed with the support of professional athletes, coaches and sports scientists, giving our users the ability to train like a pro in the comfort of their own home. Being so involved in the world of professional sports sets us apart from anything else on the market.
Razil Player has many different activities, all designed around different games. Do you anticipate that players focus on a single activity to sharpen their skills in a particular sport, or do you think there is a difference between them all?
A player may choose to focus on an activity that he enjoys in order to develop a specific skill set appropriate for that sport. However, there is room to use different game modes to suit your extensive training and development of different skills. For example, our Reaction Wall and Hoops game modes can help improve reactions, vision and fitness in a whole host of sports. Even athletes are using different game modes that may not necessarily be their first game. For example, the The Atlanta Falcons recently explained that some of their athletes Participate in our soccer heading drills as part of their rehabilitation, even if they are NFL players as it helps develop their cognitive and motor skills.
Razil also provides data analytics products for professional sports teams. Can you talk a little bit about how Razil Player came about, and how it fits in with the company’s other products and overall ethos?
Our mission as a company is to make elite training methods available to everyone. We work with professional sports clubs, sports organizations and athletes at the highest level around the world. The lessons we get from being used in the professional sports industry result in Raziel Player being the best app to help anyone develop their skills or just enjoy the game. There is no one in the industry that supports high level sport the way we do and we are proud to be able to remove the barriers that are preventing people from experiencing high quality training, regardless of their Whatever the starting playing ability.
Do you envision more elite athletes using VR for training purposes to advance? How can technology overcome obvious barriers, like strapping a screen to your face that inherently affects mobility? How have you prepared around this potential threat?
We hope more athletes turn to VR as part of their training schedule. Already, more than half of the Premier League use Razil for training, recovery, and analysis purposes. We also have several NFL and NBA teams using Raziel, and our advisory group boasts Vincent Kompany, Thierry Henry, Gary Neville, Cesc Fabregas, Michael Antonio, Tyrone Mings, and Anthony Watson. We have never received feedback that the headsets cause mobility issues and the comfort standards of VR headsets are constantly improving.
Some trailers and press materials for Rezile Player hint at a competitive aspect with cash prizes. Will this functionality be available on PSVR2 and can you explain a bit about how it works?
At Rezzil Player you’ll be able to take part in fun monthly challenges and have the chance to compete for cash and other prizes on PSVR2! We will be having our own challenges every month which will involve participating in different game modes in Razil Player. From time to time, there will also be special challenges available that will be created with our partners and for major sporting events!
Isn’t it difficult to ensure a fair and competitive environment when real monetary stakes are on the line?
Yes it is, we face the same challenges as all eSports competitions and take the issues just as seriously. Fortunately we have a great Discord community (which you must be a part of to claim any rewards), where players of all levels help each other improve their technique. We’ve seen eSports professionals help newbies who have stepped up to win. We also run a challenge where winners are chosen at random so it gives anyone a chance to win.
We are also developing a tournament platform for release later this year where anyone can create, play and promote challenges on supported VR games such as Rezzil Player. Watch this space.
What kind of research went into designing the activities, and what kind of feedback did you get from professional athletes? How have you been able to measure the relationship between using the app and real-world performance improvement?
When designing the activities, we will take a hands-on approach that will begin by talking to many top coaches working in top level sports organizations to understand the activities they believe will benefit their athletes. We will then engage in several rounds of feedback, involving coaches, their players, and recognized academics, to refine and further develop them. We have received great feedback from professional athletes, such as the realism and enjoyment of training with Razil. Many have made it an essential part of their weekly training, for example, using it as a pre-training boost, or to support them during their rehabilitation.
To understand how Razil has improved real-world performance, we spend a lot of time listening to athletes who are using it. Recurring comments included them feeling more alert, and confident in the real-world after using Razil. But that’s not all, we’re currently engaged in projects to measure decision-making skills before and after training with Razil, and so far, the results are looking great.
Obviously, the game isn’t even out on PSVR2 yet, but we’re curious to hear your thoughts on how the intersection between gaming and technology will evolve? What do you think will be the next big innovations in this field?
As VR/XR hardware continues to improve across the board, the benefits of training and developing your skill set using Rezzil will only increase. As a product that is already being used at the highest level of sports, it’s exciting to think what the future possibilities might be!
The industry is moving fast and we can expect to see more advanced simulations and training using the whole body in the future, we are already developing the next generation of products to make kicking games completely untethered and Will include real game data that players can interact with.
Thank you so much Andy for taking the time to answer our questions, and help us learn a little more about Razil Player. Are you interested in how technology can be used to enhance athletes’ performance and sharpen everyone’s fitness? Let us know in the comments section below.
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