About three years ago at an Opencast (Matterhorn) conference held at Oxford, I had a long discussion about the merit of ‘oversampling’ the lecture space with high pixel count sensors, then ‘windowing’ a standard HD frame in post, or with automated motion tracking. There was, at the time, a valiant open source effort in the form of LectureSight that used a close webcam to track and position the primary PTZ room camera. Not a very portable solution. Stuart and his Colleagues at Manchester tried this and a number of solutions for their Maths spaces, but it all seems a bit clunky in practice and certainly not portable. In August the streaming CDN LiveStream launched Mevo in the US, originally due in April for pre-orders. This $400 tiny cylindrical camera has a Sony 4K sensor and creates multiple HD windows from the oversampled wide master shot that can be switched live from an iOS device. It has multi-person motion tracking that can detect Jaw. Oh… and the magnets…. this thing sticks to any metal object for quick positioning in a workshop.
Why is it a big deal? For webinars, lectures that need permeable synchronous live streaming it will be the first time I can send out a small Peli case with an iPad and one of these for ‘self service’ streaming – instead of a whole team.
But…. taken a step further – it hints at cloud LC services that could capture the wide 4K (or 8K or 16K…. etc) from a single static shot and then serve up a variety of dynamic live ‘edits’ based on user preference.