Fraunhofer makes player tracking pitch at IBC

Broadcasters and pundits are always looking for ways to give viewers even deeper analysis of team sports and during last week’s IBC in Amsterdam research centre Fraunhofer HHI (Heinrich Hertz Institute) demonstrated a new interactive system that can track specific players and recognise highlights like goals and penalties.
The Interactive Sport Experience is the latest development in Fraunhofer HHI’s range of technologies for recording, playing back and reviewing football and other team games. It is claimed to deliver a greater degree of interactivity through a range of automatic analysis features, with the ability to follow a key player in a match over a period of time.
There is also an automated way to assign players to their teams as well as flagging up recognisable incidents worthy of examination, such as goals, misses and possible penalties. Different views of the pitch can be selected and the scope of the view altered depending on where the significant action occurred in the game. The various events are displayed on a timeline as different colours, so they are easily recognised and can be selected quickly for replay and discussion. A selling point of the system is that it does not need special cameras or sensors.
Right now the Interactive Sport Experience does not work in real-time but a Fraunhofer HHI spokeswoman said that real-time operation would be “the next step.” She added that the aim was to have the technology ready for full production use in the year leading up to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

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