Virtual reality company and elite ultimate frisbee team announce innovative partnership
Liminal VR and Ellipsis Ultimate have today announced they will collaborate in investigating the use of virtual reality experiences to harness emotional states and maximise performance in sport.
Over the past three years Australian company Liminal VR has been examining research from fields as diverse as psychology, neuroscience, music, animation, and computer games. Liminal’s team of neuroscientists and VR developers have built on this research to create short VR experiences to reliably change people’s emotional and cognitive states in just a few minutes.
In this same period Melbourne-based Ellipsis Ultimate have been making their mark on the ultimate world. In 2015 they were the first club from outside of North America to win the prestigious US Open event, and they won back to back national championships in 2016 and 2017. Team captain Cat Phillips has also made a splash as a crossover sport star playing for the Melbourne Demons in the AFLW.
These two organisations are now excited to work together to explore how virtual reality technology and neuroscience can be used to calibrate the emotional and cognitive states of athletes to ensure both the best training and competition outcomes. The use of VR in sport has to date mostly been focused on play-based experiences for athletes. The cross-disciplinary nature of this project broadens the scope of this considerably, and the research could be an important contribution to this emerging area. Liminal’s CEO Damian Moratti is eager to analyse how the company’s work can have in an impact in a high performance setting:
“Virtual reality has a profound ability to optimise a person’s emotional and cognitive states for any given task or situation. We’re really excited to be partnering with Ellipsis to help push the boundaries of human performance and can’t wait to explore how Liminal’s experiences will affect performance at an elite level in one of the fastest growing sports in the world!”
In addition to the wider significance, the partnership is also important because in 2018 Ellipsis will be competing against dozens of teams from across the globe at the World Ultimate Club Championships. This event, held in July in Ohio, is the peak of competition in the sport. The club hopes that working with Liminal will give them an extra edge in their pursuit of gold. Steven Wright, the Head Coach of Ellipsis, is enthusiastic about this potential:
“The emotional and mental states of athletes undeniably has a massive and pervasive effect on their performance. We’re really thrilled to be able to work with Liminal VR because their approach to this technology could be a real game-changer for our team, and for sport in general.”
The results of this partnership will be released following Ellipsis’ participation at the World Championships in July.