Video algorithms from SAP will change sport forever

SAP is a software solutions company and they’ve just learned a new trick. At CES 2015, they’re showing off a new prototype that analyses video footage of sporting events...

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SAP is a software solutions company and they’ve just learned a new trick. At CES 2015, they’re showing off a new prototype that analyses video footage of sporting events to automatically create player, team and game statistics. Currently the stats we see from sporting events are done by a team of people manually entering kicks, tackles, goals and other important stats.

All of this is about to change, with software algorithms now able to identify these key stats and many more. Everyone from broadcasters to teams, to coaches, talent scouts and fans could all get this data and interact with it live via a touchscreen.

Probably the most stunning thing about this is that players and equipment need no sensors or technology to make it work, it’s all down to cameras and software. When you see this stuff in action, what Nvidia spoke about (cameras and software killing lidar and sensors) has a little bit more credibility.

When the software knows what the sport is, it’ll know what is required for a score and how much it’s worth in numeric values. The distance the ball travels as a result of player interactions, the distance players run during a match, how many kicks, tackles, all of this data is on the table using this system.

This system by SAP is a coaches dream. This provides real-time statistical analysis of player and team performance. You can watch how players execute plays and react to that data during the game, not hours or days after the fact.

This really is remarkable technology and is actually applicable to any sport, of course the metadata for that sport would have to be programed, but all very possible. This could include NFL, AFL, Rugby, Cricket, anything with players, teams, balls, fields etc.

The system works in conjunction with a grid of 4x high definition video cameras from Panasonic, that shoot the field in a way that can be represented as a single image of the field with amazing detail.

Coaches used to make decisions based on their gut feeling, which is akin to an educated guess. This level of live data analysis is truly ground breaking and while still in prototype phase, one of my favourite products and services from CES 2015.

 

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