Sony and the All England Lawn Tennis Club have signed a deal to allow TV viewers to watch Wimbledon in 3D. Along with their partners SuperVision Media, Sony will use their special filming techniques to capture and broadcast live in 3D.
The method is relatively simple. The action is filmed using two cameras positioned at an eye’s width apart i.e. each camera acts as an eye. The images from both cameras are combined and projected as one. 3D glasses separate the images back into the two camera views and assign them to the corresponding eye; the brain is tricked into seeing in 3D. This is a simplified explanation, however we are starting to witness a wider uptake of 3D filming technology, particularly in sports broadcasting. The video below provides an example.
Tennis was also one of the first sports to embrace the infamous Hawk-eye technology. Again, this is a 3D camera system that can accurately track the trajectory of a tennis ball and predict its landing position to a reported 3.6 mm. It is interesting to note, that Sony have also bought out the Hawk-eye company.
Do Sony/Hawk-eye now have the capacity to apply their ball tracking technology to soccer?
FIFA are being relative archaic about allowing the use of ball tracking technologies which could give additional information to the referee, such as whether or not the ball has crossed the goal-line. There are a number of people including Professor Steve Haake who think this technology is required. The partnership of Sony with its media power and Hawk-eye with its ball tracking credentials could be an interesting one to watch over the next few years…