Ncam discusses collaboration with Sky Deutschland for AR graphics generation
Ncam recently announced that Sky Deutschland is to use its real-time camera tracking technology to generate augmented reality graphics in support of its live coverage of the German Bundesliga football championship for a second time this coming season. It follows on from a successful collaboration last season in which the Sky Sports and Sky Sports News production department of the German media company was solely responsible for providing the coverage of 612 Bundesliga matches and used Ncam’s camera tracking technology to bring a ‘wow’ factor to their audiences.
SVG Europe’s previous coverage can be found here (https://www.svgeurope.org/blog/headlines/sky-deutschland-deploying-ncam-technology-for-bundesliga-ar-graphics-creation/), but subsequently we caught up with Ncam CEO Nic Hatch to find out more about the collaboration…
Firstly, can you comment a little on the the overall relationship Ncam has had with Sky Deutschland over the last few years…
Working closely with our customers is key to the development of our technology and this relationship is no exception. Sky Deutschland continue to show the way forward in terms of pitch-side professional quality augmented reality, and Ncam continues to lead the way as the enabling technology in this sector. Our businesses are very much aligned with regards to creating engaging and interactive graphics that audiences can themselves feel a part of. We’ve been working with Sky Deutschland since early in 2014; it’s a fantastic relationship.
What is particularly unique about what Ncam is bringing to the Bundesliga coverage?
Ncam’s patented technology is unique in enabling a steadicam or handheld camera to deliver pitch-side augmented reality. Gone are the days that Sky Deutschland is limited to working with AR from a dedicated Bundesliga studio or from static pan and tilt heads and jibs. There is nothing else like it.
How does Ncam see AR graphics developing in sports over the next few years, and can you list some other current projects in this area?
Our view on professional level AR starts with the core foundation: accurate, robust, anywhere camera tracking. We see per-pixel depth being a key area of development for AR, both for OB and studio and we think photorealism has yet to be realised. Ncam has been involved with quite a few recent sports broadcast projects including The French Open Tennis, the 145th Open Golf Championship at Royal Troon, coverage of the UEFA Champions League, as well as providing trackside AR graphics to enhance motor racing coverage – not forgetting Rio 2016 with various clients.