Vision now integral to professional sport

Any follower of sport on TV would at the very least expect ‘slow
motion replay’ and multiple angle view analysis of key action
sequences. However, vision technology is now used extensively by
sports officials, coaches, developers and amateur performers alike.
Applications fall into 3 main categories: tracking the trajectories of
moving items, such as balls and people, high-speed imaging to
allow frame by frame motion analysis and the use of infra-red
imaging to reveal information that could not be obtained from
conventional cameras.

Geometrical systems

Ball tracking systems such as ‘Hawk-Eye’ (part of Sony) are used
extensively in many sports including international tennis, cricket
and football, to help the officials verify borderline decisions. The
system uses a number of cameras at key locations around the
particular arena to track the movement of the ball and a
sophisticated image processing system calculates the trajectory of
the ball relative to the particular playing area. Other examples
include the tracking of a player’s movement during football
matches for analysis. The systems monitor the position coordinates
for every player, the ball and the referee at all times during the
game to allow calculation of players’ total running performance
including average and maximum speeds, number and intensity of
sprints and the distance covered, allowing the production of socalled
‘heat maps’. A very recent application is a vision based
scoring system in a social darts environment using multiple
cameras and 3D fitting algorithms to measure the precise position
and score of the dart in the board.

High Speed Analysis

High frame rate and high resolution imaging allow complex
movements to be filmed and slowed down for analysis. Applications
include analysis of racehorses in motion, the analysis of athletes’
techniques for sports science and the analysis of golf swings both for
professionals and amateurs.

Infrared imaging

In cricket, a system called ‘Hot Spot’ uses infrared cameras to help
adjudicate disputed catches since the impact of the ball against bat
results in a localised heat spot, which appears bright on the IR
image. Infrared cameras have been used in the development of
ventilation and cooling systems in athletics footwear. Infrared
technology can reveal the thermal performance of Formula 1 tyres
under race conditions and in different weathers. It can also be used
to provide a detailed understanding of how the complex materials
used in disc brakes react under load and how heat is dissipated in
exhaust systems.


WED, 16 MAY: 9.00 - 5.00PM

09.00: Registration & Exhibition Open
9.50: Opening address by MP, Iain Stewart
10.00: Morning Seminar Sessions
14.00: Afternoon Seminar Sessions
17.00: Conference Close


Contact:  Chris Valdes  T: +44 (0) 20 8773 5517     sales@machinevisionconference.co.uk

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