Live from the World Cup: Final to Get 360° Ultra HD Treatment

The innovation continues at the 2014 FIFA World Cup as tomorrow’s Final Match will pioneer a 360-degree viewing experience thanks to a panoramic, Ultra HD OmniCam developed by scientists at the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute in Berlin. “FIFA is always looking to embrace new technologies to give broadcasters and football fans everywhere the very best viewing experience available,” says Niclas Ericson, FIFA, director of TV. “Germany’s Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute is a world leader in this field and we are delighted to be working with them on this ground-breaking project.”

The OmniCam at Maracana stadium

The OmniCam at Maracana stadium

The OmniCam is a worldwide unique system for capturing ultra-high definition 180° and 360° panoramic video. The compact and easy-to-handle camera system consists of a scalable, mirror-based multi-camera rig and enables panoramic video to be shot at a resolution of 2,000 x 10,000 pixels. It includes digital cameras using 10 36-degree mirror segments that are stitched together in a real-time processor to generate a parallax-free, high-quality video panorama that is 360 degrees. It weighs just 15 kilograms and is not bigger than a normal HDTV camera.

Positioned at the halfway line, the OmniCam will record the complete stadium in one panoramic view. This means that soccer matches can be watched on the 360° or 180° screens of future panoramic cinemas, as if the viewer is sitting in the stadium watching the match in person.

The ground-breaking format will be on display for the first time at the new FIFA World Football Museum in Zürich, which is scheduled to open its doors to the public in early 2016.

The innovation is the latest visual technology to be introduced by FIFA as part of the production of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, alongside live 4K and 8K productions of matches and an immersive second-screen experience.

The 360° showcase promises to become one of the central attractions at the planned FIFA World Football Museum in Zurich, which will take football fans on an immersive journey through the story of the beautiful game, the excitement of the FIFA World Cup and the extraordinary history of FIFA, the world’s governing body of football. OmniCam video content will also soon be coming as second screen apps to tablets, smartphones or laptops. Users will have the opportunity to navigate through the stadium and thus become their own camera operators.

“The FIFA World Football Museum in Zürich will offer its visitors an unforgettable football experience‎,” adds David Ausseil, creative director of the FIFA World Football Museum/ “We believe this landmark project, filming all the action at the FIFA World Cup Final Match in Brazil in truly stunning panaromic format for our theatre, will be a must-see.”

Adds Dr. Ralf Schäfer, from the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute: “The Heinrich Hertz Institute is very proud to have the opportunity to bring its newest technology into action at such an important event. Immersive video services will play an important role in the future and football is one of the most attractive applications for such kind of technology.”

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