Long before 2017, when the Winter Meetings trade show would be littered with new products pushing the boundaries of technology and baseball, virtual reality interested Jarrett Sims.
He thinks back to his childhood, when he would use an old viewfinder to watch batman and superman stories, imagining himself in the world of superheroes. It didn’t take long for this thought to creep into sports: why wasn’t there something like the viewfinder that he could use to play against his favorite basketball player, Patrick Ewing?
“I was just a creative kid and played every sport imaginable,” Sims said. “When I started playing baseball I thought one of the things that would be awesome is if you could prepare in a way that you could see Arthur Rhodes. He was my favorite pitcher.”
Those were just trivial thoughts during his childhood, but as Sims grew older he watched as the technology surrounding virtual reality continued to progress. He remained intrigued. And one day during 2016, while standing on the pitcher’s mound of Safeco Field with his dad, Dave (a play-by-play commentator for the Mariners) and brother, Sims had an epiphany.
“I was like I have to make a life change,” Sims said. “We jumped into it after doing a bunch of R&D for a couple months. That’s kind of how it came to be…
“From a technology standpoint we’re working with guys who have built amazing experiential products, they’ve created hardware and software paired together, (artificial intelligence), all sorts of things that hadn’t previously existed in the form that they brought it into existence in. It’s a similar case here because with RibeeVR we are building something from the ground up and we have some very big goals for it.”
The ‘we’ that Sims is referring to is his company, Monsterful VR, which is currently on the cutting edge of that aforementioned line between baseball and technology, attempting the blend the two together and offer players and teams a different way to step into the batter’s box. To help improve a swing, scout opposing pitchers and implement data points that the technology offers into advanced coaching and training.
The product behind this goal is RibeeVR, which is Monsterful’s performance training technology that enables professional hitters to train against virtual versions of upcoming pitchers with replicated deliveries and mechanics, hopefully helping to improve pitch recognition and release point identification, understand where holes are in a swing and gain a better understanding of pitch sequencing, among other potential benefits.
In order to bring the technology to coaches and players on a practical level, Sims has brought on Jeremy Booth, former Mariners scout and current CEO of the Future Stars Series and Program 15 (a Houston-based development program), as a senior consultant.
… Read the full story at BaseballAmerica.com