Virtual Spectator…

The first time I read those two words, I said to myself, “what the heck is that…?”

You’ve got to realise that I’m the kind of girl who is still amazed by the principle of a fax, so all this 3D stuff, internet, streaming, goes straight over my head.

Curtis WorthySo I asked Curtis Worthy to explain the basis of it to me. It’s a HD (read High Definition) technology that can be adapted to all apparatus, from plasma screens to notebooks or even mobile phones.

The company started to work in squash only ten weeks ago, and what they have achieved in such a short time is just amazing. The machines that are shown here are still under development, and look like heavy machinery, but soon, all will be held in two containers.

Wicked…

They are also developing internet software that will allow you to choose your camera angle (you’ll be the director of your own show), read the stats, listen to the after match interviews…

Amazing…

One thing I know.

Soon, all this software, all those fancy programs, those toys, those analyses, will make people like me redundant. They will be able to show you precisely why a player won or lost, precisely, analytically, errorless.

No, joke apart, have a look, have a read…

The future of sport is here, and it’s called Virtual Spectator…

MALCOLM IMPRESSED ...

The sponsorship and involvement of Virtual Spectator is potentially one of the most exciting developments in squash since the glass court.

On show at the Jessie Vesey Sports Centre all week have been pictures of action on the glass court of the highest quality, as well as screens with technical data which must be of massive interest to Sports Science world wide.

Although the company has had long term involvement in sailing and have provided graphics and design at Wimbledon, have worked with the PGA in America and the Cricket Boards of Australia and England, they are always looking for new avenues for their sophisticated equipment and they seem very happy so far with what squash offers.

Curtis Worthy, who is directing on-site operations for the Bermuda-based company, says he hopes that this technology may be of much use in various areas of the game, such as streaming and scientific development. Looking at what Virtual Spectator has to offer I have no doubt his hopes and expectations will be met.

Malcolm Willstrop


Peter Nicol talks about VS

VIRTUAL SPECTATOR PREVIEWS SQUASH TECHNOLOGY
A Unique Interactive Experience for the Bermuda Masters 2005

This week the Virtual Spectator Bermuda Masters 2005 is not only showcasing the world’s top 31 squash players, but a remarkably enhanced visual experience is being “test driven”, as new technology captures on-court play. VS SquashTrac™ is the latest VS innovation, currently in beta-testing, using the award-winning interactive technology of Virtual Spectator™ and the combined resources of Investors Guaranty Group™.

Just as glass courts added a break-through dimension to visualizing play action, VS SquashTrac™ enhances the court-side experience with added visual dimensions and player analytics. For fans unable to enjoy the warm hospitality of Bermuda during the event, and for players after each match, VS SquashTrac™ and video highlights from the 2005 Bermuda Masters are available  on a special preview site.

VS SquashTrac™ combines multi-camera video, electronic player tracking, and thermographic imaging to provide multiple perspectives and performance analytics on a squash player’s every move. Through the VS squash viewer over the web, for television broadcast or through digital tablets at the event, the user is virtually in complete control of how the game is viewed. The interface gives the user access to choose from various high-definition (HD) camera angles, an infrared view, and an array of statistics and data, captured live at the event, and, of course, the 3D animations for which Virtual Spectator is well known.

Virtual Spectator™ (VS) is a leading interactive visualization and sports information group known for its 3D interactive animations of America’s Cup sailing, World Rally Motor Sports, golf, rugby, cricket, horse racing, and in Bermuda, the world’s premier match racing event, The King Edward the VII Gold Cup. The group has a history of world-class technology innovation with a focus on visualization products designed to simplify complex data and ease understanding of nuances in sports, as well as business data.

The development of VS SquashTrac™ represents a fast-track collaboration of the Bermuda Squash Racquets Association, Virtual Spectator’s New Zealand 3D animation team, its Australian real-time technologies group, coordinated and produced by ImageAction Ltd.

Bermuda Masters Director Ross Triffitt commented, “I am delighted that a major player in world sports technology chose to be the Title Sponsor of the Bermuda Masters. I am even more pleased about how much their new interface enhances not only the event, but the understanding of the sport in general.”

“Having just rolled out our “VS Event Experience” at the Investors Guaranty™ Presentation of The King Edward VII Gold Cup in Bermuda in October, we were able to shorten the normal lead time for developing and applying VS technology to squash” said Curtis Worthy of ImageAction Ltd. Worthy, the Project Executive added, “Our challenge was in gaining sufficient insight to simplify the sport for our viewers, yet creating the advanced visual and performance analytics needed by the players, coaches and broadcast commentators. Ross Triffitt, Kim Carter and their dedicated volunteer team are so passionate about the sport and were a great beta-client in developing VS SquashTrac™. Of course, the enthusiasm, feedback and suggestion of the players, officials and fans has been tremendous.”

Robert Edwards with Douglas L King ...Investors Guaranty™ companies have been Bermuda-based since 1985. Investors Guaranty™ Chairman and CEO, and a Director of Virtual Spectator™, Douglas L. King, commented:

“The Investors Guaranty Foundation participated in last year’s event in sponsoring Children’s Health Week. When approached to be this year’s title sponsor, we were honored to associate ourselves with such a world-class event. We couldn’t resist joining our Virtual Spectator™ unit’s advanced technology and well-know brand to one of the world’s top squash challenges.”

Special Preview Site

Screenshots from Beachill v Nicol semi-final