Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Pedro unlocks the tactics of top football teams

Piero, the first technology of its kind that enables better analysis of sports games by allowing the viewer to see 'play' from all angles, has been adopted by Sky Italia, Hong Kong Cable, TV Globo in Brazil, ITV in the UK, ITI Neovision in Poland and Al Jazeera. Red Bee Media developed the product from a BBC Research and Development 'proof of concept' in collaboration with BBC Outside Broadcasts for BBC Sport. At the International Broadcasters' Convention last September Piero received the Award for Innovative Application of Technology in Content Creation.

The Piero graphic system places pictures of players into a virtual stadium where they can be viewed from different angles and analysed in animated sequences. It is the only technology of its kind with a seamless transition between original footage and views in a virtual stadium. It also enables broadcasters to show viewers offsides, passes and offences from the best possible angle–even if the play was not captured at that angle. To form an inclusive graphics package, Piero also features the ability to track players across the grass and place pointers, badges and scores on the pitch in 'live' video. It can also be used to place virtual advertising in real footage or virtual stadiums.

Piero is operated through an easy-to-use touch-screen interface, which TV presenters can operate on-air. It allows them to draw directly on the pitch and can switch between real and virtual views at the click of a button. The drawn graphics remain 'tied-to-field' in moving camera footage.

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