VR start-up wins Manchester United deal
The club will install the VR platform tool at its academy as a training aid for younger players to boost decision making and tactical awareness.
Mi Hiepa's VR technology was developed with input from Premier League clubs, physiotherapists and sports scientists.
The system tracks the movement of a player’s feet and shins and generates individual training drills designed to spot and nurture talented young players.
“The product has been developed and perfected with input from physiotherapists, sports scientists and football clubs themselves and it’s extremely rewarding that Manchester United has recognised the benefits that Mi Hiepa will deliver to its already incredibly successful youth setup,” said co-founder and sporting director Andy Etches.
He added: “We have plans for significant growth and hope to be expanding our 15-strong team in Manchester with a raft of new appointments over the coming months.
Tony Strudwick, head of athletic development at Manchester United, said: “At Manchester United we’re proactive about embracing innovative new ways of learning. We were impressed by the Mi Hiepa virtual reality tool, which works by homing in on players’ decision making skills and training them in isolation.
“Gamification works really well with younger players and it provides the motivation they need for improvement. In the modern world of producing young footballers, this is just the kind of innovation that will give us a competitive edge."
Mi Hiepa is a joint venture between Manchester developer Mi and sports data specialist Hiepa.
The company is currently in talks with other clubs and expects further national and international contract wins to follow its success with Manchester United.