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On-board the America's Cup

01 Jun 2017

Animation Research Ltd (ARL) is aiming to put you on-board an America's Cup boat. Recently, Radio New Zealand interviewed ARL CEO Ian Taylor, who described some of the challenges the company faced. "In Bermuda we're doing all the stuff that you'd normally expect, the tracking, the computer graphics, the mobile app... but the thing that's got us all excited is the potential for 360 VR. Imagine it, being on the back of one of those things flying at close to 50 knots, with another one chasing you... unbelievable. So we've had to build our own multi-camera rigs to go on the boats, get permission from the America's Cup people to put them on the boats, and there's so much data coming off the boats that we've had to design a whole logistical system as well."

ARL Systems Manager, John Jenkins, adds: "As a race starts a crew member pushes a button to start all the cameras simultaneously , they record for the duration of their battery life. When the race is finished we grab the unit off the boat, download the data from the cards and process it with our own software. We're hoping to have finished 360 video available within a 3 hour timeframe. There are rigs around that you can do this with, but we're hoping to get better quality stitching and a lot more definition in the video. We've built 2 units for the America's Cup... on the lead-up races we'll be testing the units, the America's Cup people will decide which boats they go on ultimately."

Above: A 360 degree video test, early on in the development cycle - onboard an AC45F with Oracle Team USA during the LVACWS event in Chicago 2016. (Watch on YouTube)

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