Vision of Victory: Technology Meets FSU Football

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Posted at 6:13 AM, May 20, 2014
and last updated 2017-05-30 14:20:20-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WXL) -- Florida State University and football are synonymous, and thanks to the school’s computer sciences department athletes have an upper hand on the field.

"You’ve heard the analogy football is a game of inches... well football is also a game of split-seconds and that's where we're really winning," said FSU research assistant Frank Sposaro.

When it comes to anything, especially sports, practice makes perfect.

But this sort of training isn’t about staying longer in the weight room, or running more sprints. It’s all about the eye.

Researchers at Florida State University are using sensors to strengthen athlete’s eyes, and in return, increasing performance.

"If you can see faster, you can act faster, you can see more of the field and you can put yourself in better position," said Sposaro

Football players spend one hour a week going through visual exercises, and experts are able break down their movements by the millisecond.

"How long it takes to get something from the eye to the brain, the brains of the muscle, and the muscles to actually physically move," said Sposaro.

And with technology meeting athletics, Florida State is bridging the gap between class time and game time. Researchers at FSU predict this type of sensor training will go far beyond college campuses, even becoming part of our everyday lives.

"I think all of us in five or 10 years will get the same benefit from having sensors monitoring how we are doing, so that you don't have a surprise heart attack or things like that," said computer science professor Gary Tyson.

Resulting in a world where our devices may end up knowing more about us than we do.

"It really is as big a wave as the Internet was, or as the personal computer was, it's going to change all aspects of our lives," said Tyson.

The visual training program is expected to expand to all FSU sports teams in the coming season.

Both Sposaro and Tyson say the feedback from athletes has been extremely positive so far.