A new camera design allows sports teams to easily create their own videos, without the need for an operator
Soccer is one of the most popular sports on the planet. There are amateur soccer leagues operating in almost every city in the world. Many of these teams would like the opportunity to video and stream their matches and training sessions, but cannot afford the cost of a camera operator and vision mixer.
Veo, a Copenhagen-based startup, may have a solution. The company’s goal is to “democratize the recording of football” by using artificial intelligence (AI) to direct the filming, making it possible to create quality videos without paying an expert. The innovations joins other recent advances in technology for sport, such as a sports video intelligence platform that provides instant analysis and a drone that can analyse the condition of the playing field.
Veo has created a device consisting of two 4K cameras mounted inside a specially-designed box, which can be positioned on a tripod along the field’s halfway line. From this position the camera can record a 180-degree panoramic view of the entire field. After recording, software guided by AI adjusts the video to follow the action, using virtual panning and zooming. Although this means that some of the final image is cropped out, starting with 4K means that the resulting video quality is high enough for playback on smaller screens, such as smartphones and tablets. Coaches and players can also manually edit the video after the match, by choosing the virtual camera angle and where to zoom.
While the cameras are expensive, Veo plans to use a subscription model, where clubs pay an annual fee, starting at an estimated USD 2500 for use of the camera and all editing. Clubs can also purchase an upgrade to embed their sponsors’ logos onto the videos and highlights, which could potentially provide an additional revenue stream. To date, Veo has raised EUR 2 million in seed funding. The company expects to launch in Europe early in 2018, with a worldwide release later in the same year. What other sports could benefit from this type of technology?