Fans of televised football are used to seeing the action from just about every angle, but a new invention promises a look from a never-before-seen perspective: the football's-eye view.
What makes the BallCam especially interesting is that it "sees" the playing field clearly even when the football is thrown with a spiral. The researchers developed a computer algorithm to convert the raw video into a stable, downward-looking view, as seen in the YouTube clip above.
This BallCam was created by the research team to generate video sequences from a football's point of view.
How does it work? The BallCam records a succession of frames with a narrow field of view when the ball is thrown, and the algorithm builds a wide-angle image of the whole playing field out of the parts.
"When we spin the ball, the ball acts like a gyroscope, and it's able to hit its target with much more precision. Also, the spinning of the ball allows for less air-resistance, or less drag, so that it can travel to its destination even more quickly."
A paper describing the BallCam will be presented on March 8 at the Augmented Human International Conference in Stuttgart, Germany.