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New SIUC research aims to help athletes and law enforcement

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CARBONDALE (WSIL) -- Researchers at SIU Carbondale have developed new technology to improve high-speed decision making skills.

Dr. Peter Fadde created Video-Occlusion, an alternative form of virtual or augmented reality.

The technology was originally developed for sports, but it can also be used to increase reaction times in many different professions, including law enforcement and medical fields.

"I'm really excited about it just because, yeah, it's great to be doing this work in sports, it's great to help people there, but man, if we can make a difference in that kind of rapid decision making when you've got so many things going on and psychological pressure, you know that's obviously got a big steak in it for all of society. Not just for the law enforcement officer, not just for the citizen, but really for all of us," said Dr. Fadde.

Dr. Fadde said real teams and players were involved in the research and development of the app and that an increasing number are now using it.

He said the university’s coaches and teams, especially baseball coach Lance Rhodes, have been helpful “guinea pigs.”

The Southern Illinois Miners and Manager Mike Pinto provided critical assistance in program development; the pitchers shown in the app are from the Miners and other Frontier League teams, Fadde said.

A couple of Major League Baseball organizations, including the Arizona Diamondbacks, have been using it for their minor league players for a couple of years, and that number has grown to about ten Major League organizations during the pandemic shut down.

Dr. Fadde says they are about two years away from getting this out to the public on a large scale, but the gameSense Sports Pitch-IQ apps are currently available for download in the Apple store and will be available for free until Friday.

Kenzie Dillow

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