This Target Tracking Camera Keeps Fast Objects Centered in the Frame

Under development in the Ishikawa Oku Lab at the University of Tokyo is a dynamic target tracking camera capable of keeping fast-moving objects centered in frame.

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It works by essentially bouncing the target into the lens using mirrors moving very rapidly. What you get is a stable image of a fast-moving object. In the video demo, a fast-moving ball tied to a string is tracked — and the accuracy may surprise you.

“This system does very fast image processing to recognize the subject. It captures and processes an image every 1/1000th of a second. In this way, it can track the subject stably and continuously, simply by feeding back the subject’s position, without particularly predicting its behavior.”

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Uses for such a system seem limitless. From tracking a race car to following a baseball at a major league game, this type of technology could soon become the norm in sports broadcasting and other industries. In fact, the Lab says it may be useable for broadcasting in about two years.

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Other uses for this system allow for the connecting of a projection device instead of a camera, which allows for projected images on moving objects — a potentially useful solution for augmented reality applications.

(via DigInfo via Gizmodo)


  • agour

    eugh, I think I just came

  • levitor

    Endless posibilities!

  • Ken Elliott

    Very interesting. It uses the basic concept of moving mirrors, somewhat like a laser printer. But trying to watch sports like this would seem to be tiring. How can you really tell what’s going on when the ball is centered, and everything else is a blur?

    Also, there is a limitation in how wide a “field” you can cover, due to the limit of how far you can move the mirror. Hardly “limitless”. But it is a very cool machine.

  • Felix

    Catching the changing emotional expressions of a jockey on his winning horse about to cross the finish line or a goal keeper as he dives to make his save… I think that would be riveting to watch indeed!

  • sayithere

    I think this is great. I’m optimistic of this technology but, ofcourse not this extreme. not long ago, Sharp released stabilization with moving sensor (like that of Pentax IBIS) and the acuracy is amazing.

  • 9inchnail

    This will come in handy when Obama’s drones start targeting fleeing protesters. Run, Forrest, run!