As any NFL fan knows, sometimes new camera angles and tricks enhance the viewing experience; sometimes, they're just flat-out annoying. Hopefully this development will fall into the first category.
Kris Kitani, a post-doctoral fellow at the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute, is working toward his dream of enabling sports fans to watch the games from the ball's point of view. I imagine in a lot of cases, the resulting image would be a nausea-inducing mess. But what about "BallCam's" view on a long hail Mary? Now that might be worth seeing.
Kitani, whose specialty is computer vision, is working with colleagues at the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo on the project. They think the up-close-and-personal BallCam angle is the next big thing in sports broadcasting, according to the American Physical Society's Buzz Blog:
"It took a couple of tries — shredded balls and broken cameras — to find a good way to put the camera inside of the ball," said Kitani, "in the end, we cut a hole in the side of the ball and pushed the camera in."
By embedding a camera inside of a football, the scientists are exploring a new area of research that Kitani calls Digital Sports.
Using cameras and other sensor-detector technology, Kitani is interested in how technology can aid in analyzing athlete training, augment the spectator experience of the sport, and even create new sports.