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Ncam Develops Depth Tech For AR Broadcasting

Now that they have developed depth keying, presenters can walk around with AR graphics.

There has been a fair amount of augmented reality (AR) playing a role in broadcast, as well as virtual reality (VR), but usually it has been used as a one-off gimmick. Now, Ncams has come up with a stable way for broadcasters to encorporate AR elements to shows.

Ncam has created camera tracking tech which has depth keying capabilities, and what this means is that the camera understands how far away from the camera the presenter is, and therefore creating AR graphics and effects will become much more realistic and usable. Ncam has already used this with BT Sport, which then resulted in an IBC Innovation Award.

ncam depth keying

The Commercial Director at RT Software, Mike Fredriksen, said that this would be a game-changer for AR. In a report it went on to say: “With Ncams tracking we can place complex virtual objects into a scene and be completely confident that they will remain precisely in place, even with random camera moves, even with multiple cameras. Now we can take our users to the next level of augmented reality, where live presenters can really interact with those complex virtual objects that is a dramatic advance and we are delighted to be leading the industry.”

What BT Sport and Ncam did was use AR to have players pop up in position on a football pitch while cameras move around the team line-ups. What this would mean for them is that presenters can walk between and around pop-up virtual players as they discuss their capabilities.

Nic Hatch, CEO of Ncam, went on to say: “Everyone who saw our demonstration at NAB was completely amazed by it, but was wary because it depended on a new and unknown technical platform. RT Software has now added depth capabilities to its standard software, software that many broadcasters already have. This really is a hugely exciting opportunity.”

For more on the latest AR developments, as well as all the news, updates, and features in the world of VR, make sure to check back with VRFocus.

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