Video-based sports analytics system from SAP and Panasonic announced at IBC

Sports analysis specialist SAP has joined with Panasonic to create a new video-based sports analytics system that will use multi-camera video stitching to track players. It is necessary because FIFA doesn’t allow players to wear tracking sensors, so that the analysis performed during training couldn’t be used for matches.

It is being built on SAP’s Match Insights for Football — a prototype SAP developed with the German Football Association (DFB) for the World Cup in Brazil, which is now being developed for commercialisation, with the integration of Panasonic’s video and tracking software. “It turns mass data into smart data, allowing us to easily compare players,” said Fadi Naoum, SVP, head of sports and entertainment, SAP.

Panasonic delivers positional data from its software, and can collect 30 positions per player, per second. This is then analysed by the SAP tool during a match. The ultra-wide-angle camera system consists of four units attached to a rig, with realtime stitching to create a panoramic video four times normal size (64:9), to capture the action across the entire field. “We see a huge opportunity to give the teams data during the match,” said Naoum.

The file containing the raw data is planned to be transferred to SAP’s Hana platform, for accurate realtime analysis of the movement of each player and the ball. A first prototype of this joint initiative is on show at IBC.

In other news from the IBC show, ITN announced it is working with Panasonic to refine its networking for news, and is also using Panasonic’s cloud system. This will allow users to upload content in the background over IP, 3G, 4G and WiFi, at up to 6 Mbps in proxy resolution, directly from the camera. It allows editors make their decisions, then send an EDL back to the camera, and upload only the full-resolution pictures they need.

It is also useful for ITN’s web team, who now get access to the proxies as they come in, and can edit and stream them on the web without having to wait for the TV news to supply them with cut stories. The upload is designed to be really simple, everything will happen in the background so long as the camera is left on.

ITN started its trial in August, using AJ-PX5000 P2 HD cameras to deliver reports to its London head office “very, very soon after it’s been shot,” said ITN CTO, Bevan Gibson. “It allows us to send back footage without sat trucks or other links, delivering the content to our non-linear platforms faster than ever before.”

Panasonic’s latest AJ-PX800 P2 HD camcorder, which ITN will use, will cost €13,400 and also has full networking, and “the ability to stream straight from the camera a high-quality image with latency of less than one second, so you can do a two-way interview over a 4G network,” said Rob Tarrant, Panasonic’s European product manager. At 2.8kg, the PX800 is also “the lightest three-chip 2/3-inch shoulder-mount camera on the market.”

Also new is the 50/60p AJ-PG50 recorder with 3G HD-SDI and HDMI input, which should ship in December with dual-codec recording, to one P2 and two micro P2 card slots. It also has full network capabilities.

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