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Free-viewpoint TV technology has been developed at KTH.

Football viewers soon to be immersed

Published Jun 12, 2014

Wish you could check out the World Cup action from some other angles than shown on TV? New technology developed at KTH Royal Institute of Technology is making it possible.

Thanks to research done at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, it won’t be long before you can watch your favorite FIFA 

“Football fans at home will be able to see parts of the match from the goalkeeper's angle, or run alongside the left winger when he kicks that defence-splitting pass,” says Markus Flierl, researcher at the ACCESS Center and Associate Professor at the School of Electrical Engineering. “It’s a whole new visual experience.”

Markus Flierl

Flierl was part of a research team that was involved in an EU project, Free-viewpoint Immersive Networked Experience (FINE), which aims to broadcast football matches using this new technology.

Completed last year, the project contributed several advances in the technique that will make it possible for viewers to use their regular television sets and computer screens together with controls and 3D glasses. KTH's task was to ensure image quality.

"We will be able to be at home and play the role of the film director. We will be able to choose where our camera will be placed on the pitch and how to follow the match," says Flierl.

The EU cooperation included a number of companies that worked with everything from setting up cameras to offering viewers the complete service. For transmissions of this type, a much greater amount of information than usual is required. No fewer than 25 cameras are required, unlike the three or four typically used.

This massive flow of information will then be transported via broadband to our televisions and computer screens.

"With 3D glasses, you can watch the scene from two angles – your right and your left eye – but the experience is limited to these two angles," With this new technology, we can immerse into the scene and choose the perspective ourselves.

“If you want to, you can look behind the shoulder of the person that you face.”

David Callahan

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Last changed: Jun 12, 2014