At the NAB Show in Las Vegas this week, the nanotechnology research center imec presents the imec Virtual Camera (iVC), a revolutionary new video technology for dynamic viewing and advanced image manipulation.
Imec Virtual Camera turns the input from fixed cameras into a 3D space where a director or cameraman has total freedom to choose any angle or distance to the action. iVC delivers a “flying” camera that can be easily steered to find the ultimate angle. iVC is also unique because it allows real-time advanced image manipulation on still shots, slow motion and even on live video feed. iVC developers paid particular attention to cost effectiveness and ease of use. iVC can be easily integrated into any existing production pipeline. The video input comes from standard HD-IP cameras, without compromising the quality of the output. As HD-IP cameras cost only a fraction of conventional outside broadcasting cameras, production cost is dramatically reduced. iVC is handled via a user-friendly remote control panel comparable to that of a regular boom camera or spider cam, enabling the Director or cameraman a straightforward manipulation of the virtual camera.
Imec Virtual Camera brings many new and exciting possibilities in sports, concerts or performance broadcasting. For example, with iVC, viewers can experience a personalized rock concert, watching it from the best seat in the stadium, or zoom in on a ballet dancer’s toes when they are brought together for a landing. Fans can follow the curve of the ball when a quarterback throws a 40-yard pass, or sit on the striker’s shoulder when he is getting ready to score his legendary goal. Unlike other digital vision technologies, where the constraints of the specific sport have to be taken into account during development, iVC works instantly with any sports that takes place on a flat surface (tennis, football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, baseball, etc). Moreover, iVC’s advanced image manipulation also features digital signage, player tracking, instant off-side analysis.
Imec Virtual Camera is a fully operational prototype that is now ready for licensing. Johan De Geyter, department director digital components at imec, stated, “Our global launch today at the NAB Show, shows our confidence that with iVC, we have the technology that will revolutionize the way we capture action.
Timo Koch, Managing Director at Outside Broadcast, one of Europe’s leading outside broadcasting companies and imec’s partner in the development of iVC added, “In our permanent search for new technologies to incorporate in our offering, we are proud to have been part of the imec Virtual Camera project, which can become a revolutionary product in the future professional broadcasting market. iVC will allow us to automate some standard camera positions and –movements and could replace cameras that are only used for specific replay angles. iVC is the ultimate tool to offer angles that have never been shown before. These are just a few examples of how iVC can enrich the live-coverage of different sports- and music events. On another level, iVC is the ideal tool to generate the perfect stereoscopic image the broadcasting industry actually is looking for. ”