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Ball tracking and virtual replays for innovative tennis broadcasts

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3 Author(s)
G. Pingali ; Lucent Technol. Bell Labs., Murray Hill, NJ, USA ; A. Opalach ; Y. Jean

Presents a real-time computer vision system that tracks the motion of a tennis ball in 3D using multiple cameras. Ball tracking enables virtual replays, new game statistics, and other visualizations which result in very new ways of experiencing and analyzing tennis matches. The system has been used in international television broadcasts and webcasts of more than 15 matches. Six cameras around a stadium, divided into four pairs, are currently used to track the ball on serves which sometimes exceed speeds of 225 kmph. A multi-threaded approach is taken to tracking where each thread tracks the ball in a pair of cameras based on motion, intensity and shape, performs stereo matching to obtain the 3D trajectory, detects when a ball goes out of view of its camera pair, and initializes and triggers a subsequent thread. This efficient approach is scalable to many more cameras tracking multiple objects. The ready acceptance of the system indicates the growing potential for multi-camera based real-time tracking in broadcast applications

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Pattern Recognition, 2000. Proceedings. 15th International Conference on  (Volume:4 )

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