Mobile Viewpoint, a leader in IP contribution solutions, today announced the launch of two new products, NewsPilot, and IQ Sports Producer, that use Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) to automate the low-cost delivery of content from remote locations. NewsPilot and IQ Sports Producer enable smaller broadcasters and brand owners to reduce cost and complexity of live content production and delivery. Both products will be showcased at NAB and will be available for purchase from May 2018.
Consistent with Mobile Viewpoint’s full solution portfolio, NewsPilot and IQ Sports Producer meet broadcasters’ requirements for fast, simple and cost-efficient content contribution as they adapt their strategies to meet the rapid rise in online content consumption. AI capabilities help meet these goals more quickly, allowing broadcasters to automate production and save investment in costly camera crews, production facilities and distribution platforms.
NewsPilot can be used in studio environments or in the field to completely automate news production without the need for camera crew or a director. For example, smaller broadcasters or independent reporters and producers could use NewsPilot for live field news and event reporting, or in-studio news and interview production.
NewsPilot consists of three PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) cameras and Mobile Viewpoint’s Automated Studio control box, which incorporates Mobile Viewpoint’s AutoPointer and Virtual Director software. It also includes CameraLink, a robotic arm which can move a 3kg PTZ camera much like a traditional dolly arrangement, offering the same camera control normally associated with high quality news productions.
Virtual Director mimics a human director by using an AI engine that analyses audio signals (such as microphone levels), video images, and other sources such as autocue and rundown scripts, to identify which camera to switch to and control. Based on inputs from Virtual Director and 3D sensors, AutoPointer automatically points cameras and controls shots to track and focus on TV presenters.
Virtual Director includes a manual web-based control panel used to train the AI engine, and also intervene should a production require specific direction. It also uses the system’s 3D sensors to calibrate the location or studio in just a few minutes, and render an image of a studio or location. NewsPilot connects to Mobile Viewpoint’s LinkMatrix, an online dashboard that allows users to manage their complete live IP-based workflow. LinkMatrix provides a clear overview of all live feeds from the field, and turns them into real online TV channels by creating playlists, adding logos and graphics, advertising insertion, and pre-roll. Content can then be published live on any social media platform or CDN instantly.
IQ Sports Producer
IQ Sports Producer is an all-in-one production suite which can be used to produce and stream sports events from any location. It removes the requirement to install expensive camera and production facilities at sports grounds, and like NewsPilot, does not need dedicated camera crew or a director to operate. It is targeted at smaller and lower league sports clubs and teams who receive little regular TV coverage which might otherwise contribute important revenue opportunities, for example from fan and member subscriptions and local advertisers.
The main elements of IQ Sports Producer are a fixed-position 24MP 180° camera that can cover an entire field of play, a dedicated appliance with Mobile Viewpoint’s AI engine and IQ Sport Producer Software, and connection to the LinkMatrix management dashboard (see above). Mobile Viewpoint’s AI engine selects which of the camera’s four 6MP lenses to use given the position of play during a match or game. The AI engine, originally used in the defence industry to track missiles, evolved first as a means to capture sport training sessions and is now used to track players, balls or other objects during a live match or game.
The IQ Producer Software provides seamless de-warping and stitching technology to provide a natural-looking corrected image with straight line markings. It also enables a producer to overlay logos and score graphics, advertising, replays, subtitles, tickertapes etc. The connection to LinkMatrix completes the end-to-end solution, allowing game and match owners to publish their event to the web or any CDN quickly and cost-effectively.
Mobile Viewpoint today also launched HyperSense, a new smart storage solution that uses AI for voice, object and speech recognition to enhance video content indexing, logging and search.
“To meet the viewer expectations of instant news and coverage of anything that moves, broadcasters and brand owners are pressured to accelerate their output. This is rarely possible with traditional live broadcast set-ups that are expensive and resource-intensive,” said Michel Bais, CEO at Mobile Viewpoint. “Made possible by our AI algorithms and capabilities, NewsPilot and IQ Sports Producer are the perfect antidote, removing the complexity and much of the resource required for live broadcasting, and bringing greater flexibility to live event production.”