One thing is clear. Data has many uses.
Of course that sounds obvious. In its most rudimentary form humans have been using data for hundreds of years to make history-changing discernments. “And yet it moves.”, was the pronouncement when Galileo looked through his telescope, made the calculations based on the data, and determined that it is the Earth that revolves around the Sun, not the converse.
As a species we’ve come a long way from the closed-minded times of Galileo. One need no longer be concerned with being labeled a heretic when employing data to reveal once hidden realities and insights. Today, various forms of data are being generated and exploited at a phenomenal rate across a myriad of industries from healthcare, finance, military, law enforcement, geophysical studies, market research, and…you likely saw this one coming, sport.
Sports data, and the analytics and technology that are forcibly expanding this high growth industry, has taken many forms over time. As it’s been portrayed, including on celluloid in the form of Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane and the film Moneyball, the data does matter. In the early 1990’s, the term Sabermetrics was first uttered. Sabermetrics is the empirical analysis of baseball, especially baseball statistics that measure in-game activity. Several years later in 1997 Sabermetrics was exploited by Beane, who much like Galileo, upended traditional baseball orthodoxy.
Today, the practice of creating, gathering, and analyzing sports data has moved from the empirical to the widely practical. Here are four practical applications of data in sport where ChyronHego is leading the way…
1 | Perimeter Tracking
Click Effects PRIME, ChyronHego’s graphics authoring and playout solution for live arena- and stadium-based A/V presentations, is steadily adding new features including Integrated Perimeter Tracking. Perimeter Tracking tracks a player’s speed, total distance covered, and other stats live in-stadium on the perimeter, or football pitch-side LED displays thanks to an all-new integration with ChyronHego’s widely adopted TRACAB Optical Tracking solution. This innovation opens up exciting new opportunities for advertiser-supported fan engagement. Look for more from ChyronHego in early 2019 on this exciting area!
2 | Automated Production
ChyronHego believes that one of the more important technology trends shaping live sports is automated production based on data-driven workflows.
One facet of automated production uses robotic camera tracking systems. Our recent partnership with Nikon, via Mark Roberts Motion Control, seeks to leverage TRACAB’s optical data by combining it with Nikon’s PolyCam Player. Polycam Player is an automated, robotic video capture system that provides clubs, venues and broadcasters with low-cost, high-mounted and wide angle video footage through multiple un-manned ISO camera positions in an arena or stadium.
By accessing TRACAB’s real-time tracking data, Polycam Player accurately follows the action, automatically adjusting zoom and focus to keep the player or team in the frame at all times. Instant live game-play metrics allows analysts and coaches to directly compare video from game to game and more accurately monitor team performance.
3 | Lawo Kick Audio Tracking
Sometime hearing is just as important as seeing.
KICK is a unique automated audio mixing technology from German audio expert Lawo. When interfaced with modern image analysis and tracking systems, such as ChyronHego’s TRACAB Optical Tracking solution, Kick is redefining audio production for major live sports events that use a ball, such as soccer, rugby and American football.
Using TRACAB’s optical data to hone in and accurately focus on the position of the ball, KICK’s transparent sound with high kick-to-noise ratio guarantees a consistent, fully automated, high fidelity, close-ball audio mix.
The integrated orchestration of Lawo’s Kick and ChyronHego’s TRACAB has been rolled out across the Bundesliga with much success and fanfare.
4 | The TRACAB Gateway Engine
ChyronHego is making sports tracking data available to an ever wider and more diverse set of stakeholders.
Our latest architecture uses the TRACAB Gateway Engine (TGE), which is a centralized cloud-based storage repository that receives all of the live positional data (players, officials and the ball), “eventing” data and metadata from each arena-based tracking system during a game or match. The TGE stores data for every game during a season and is the gateway between TRACAB data and all stakeholder clients.
The TRACAB data delivery mechanism is designed to enable a flexible approach to how data is packaged and delivered to the wide-ranging needs of different stakeholder applications. The outputs flow into products such as ChyronHego’s PRIME Graphics Platform, our Virtual Placement advertising insertion solution, Click Effects PRIME fan engagement solution or, as referenced above, LAWO’s KICK Audio Tracking product. Essentially, any on venue stakeholder could use the TRACAB Gateway Engine.
The TGE has two different APIs for the distribution of positional data (API Stream A) and aggregated statistical data (API Stream B). The APIs are available to deliver data both live and post-match. It is also worth noting that the aggregated statistical feeds are constantly evolving in the provision of new metrics derived solely from the TRACAB captured data.
A diagram that illustrates the dataflow and data outputs is shown below.
A new, 21st Century renaissance is at hand. More sports data, from a growing list of stakeholders, discovering more and more uses for that data. Now that’s enlightenment!