ARL News

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)

Innovation Journey

21 Apr 2017

Animation Research Ltd CEO Ian Taylor is being celebrated as one of New Zealand's most prominent innovators at The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT). The new exhibition, 'The Innovators', showcases Taylor's journey, success and inspiration.

"This isn’t about me, this is about a Maori perspective on innovation and we took the opportunity to remind all New Zealanders but, especially our kids Maori and Pasifika, that you come in here and look at this and realise all of this is in your DNA. We are using new technology, the 360 VR, to take people out into space and look down into the universe that our ancestors studied and learnt about and read. They read the stars, they read the ocean and that is how they travelled here. We are talking about innovation."

Above: Ian Taylor interviewed on Maori Television's Native Affairs.

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