Making a 3D video of sports competitors to help them analyse and improve their game is something usually reserved for the Premier League or Olympic athletes.
But now, thanks to the University of Lincoln and onlincolnshire, there is a chance for sports clubs and coaches to access such cutting-edge technology, with the launch of the latest Lincolnshire Technology Hub in Louth on Tuesday, 26 November.
The hub will offer a range of 3D technologies to film sportsmen and women in mid-action – such as running, a batting stroke or dribbling a football – and provide statistical analysis which could improve their game.
The equipment, whose operation will be supported by a postgraduate research student from the University, can be seen in action at the launch event, which will also be attended by top sports stars including the captain of England’s women’s cricket team Aaron Brindle, Para-Triathlete and Paralympic hopeful Liz McTernan and wheelchair racer Jamie Carter.
David Mullineaux, a Professor in Sports Science at the University of Lincoln, who is running the hub on behalf of the Lincolnshire County Council-run project, said: “The aim of the new hub is to demonstrate how effective 3D display technology can be when it comes to teaching and learning skills, with a focus on sports groups and clubs.
“The hub offers businesses and sports clubs a fantastic opportunity to see how 3D video is created, and to begin to consider how it could be used in the workplace. The University of Lincoln brings expertise in 3D capture and display technology.”
In addition to the 3D video capability, which is provided by a special 3D camera and an innovative 3D TV that does not require viewers to wear glasses, the hub will also offer 3D motion capture technology. Body segments can be tracked in great detail by a multi-camera system that emits infrared light, which is reflected back to the cameras by small, spherical markers placed on key anatomical landmarks on the body.
The motion is displayed in real time as the action is performed, and the participant can also be presented with auditory or visual biofeedback to help them perfect their technique.
Cllr Colin Davie, executive member for economic development at Lincolnshire County Council, added: “This is the third technology hub to have opened in the county, with another two in the pipeline. They offer free use of cutting-edge digital technology, giving people the chance to learn more about emerging technologies and test out the equipment.
“As well as benefits to local people and sportsmen and women, we believe that offering these resources free of charge will promote economic growth by helping local businesses and budding entrepreneurs test-drive the latest technology.”
Sports clubs, groups and coaches can access free support in sessions being offered by the University postgraduate student, whose research will investigate whether 3D technology is effective in enhancing skill learning.
The hub will also offer businesses the chance to take advantage of the 3D camera and TV. The equipment purchased by the project can be used for free by eligible businesses, with just a small charge to cover insurance costs.
The Technology Hub is due to officially open at the Meridian Leisure Centre in Louth on 26th November.