Changing the Game: Improving Athletic Performance with Vision-Based Motion Tracking and Pose Estimation

Published on August 3, 2023 by TIS Marketing.

In the fast-paced world of athletics, even small details can make the difference between victory and defeat. To gain a competitive edge, coaches and athletes are constantly seeking cutting-edge technologies that offer precise motion tracking and performance analysis. The following paragraphs look at a multi-camera system for vision-based motion analysis using high-speed industrial cameras (DFK 37AUX287) and AI algorithms. The system generates large amounts of visual data which enables robust 3D markerless pose estimation offering significant advantages for athletes, coaches and officiants.

Image-based pose estimation and analysis: System marks player trajectory, records position, angular velocity, and ball speed - benefitting athletes, coaches and officiants.

Multi-Camera System Delivers Data for Image-Based Modelling

At the heart of the multi-camera system are industrial cameras featuring the high-performance Sony IMX287 global-shutter sensor (max. 539 fps). The cameras' ultra-fast image capture with minimal motion blur delivers the large dataset needed for 3D modeling, motion analysis, and strike zone construction. By synchronizing multiple cameras, the system achieves comprehensive coverage of the athlete's movements from various angles.

3D Markerless Pose Estimation for Precise Analysis

Using this dataset, the software identifies 17 key points on the body to construct a kinematic model (skeleton-based representation) of the athlete (image above) also known as 3D markerless pose estimation. Traditional marker-based systems are cumbersome and intrusive, limiting the athlete's natural movement. However, with markerless pose estimation, athletes can perform unhindered, while the system accurately captures and reconstructs their movements in 3D space. The precise information allows coaches and analysts to identify even the most subtle pose changes while simultaneously gaining a holistic view of athlete performance, unlocking previously hidden insights and paving the way for precise analysis and targeted coaching.

37 Series industrial camera with Sony IMX287, delivering the large data sets needed for image-based modelling algorithms.

User-Friendly Interface Empowers Athletes

Despite its complex capabilities, the multi-camera system boasts a user-friendly interface that empowers athletes to be actively involved in their training and performance improvement. Athletes can access real-time feedback on their movement trajectory, pitching and hitting angle, and instantaneous ball speed allowing for immediate adjustments and refinements. This level of engagement fosters a deeper understanding of their performance, driving continuous improvement and better results. The hassle-free installation process allows players to easily adjust the parameters and trigger points from a Windows-based tablet.

The autonomous training system uses TIS high-speed cameras and Windows-based tablets, which is so user-friendly that a single person can install and train it.

Officiating with Ball Trajectory Prediction

In order to accurately determine the exact landing point of a ball and present it to the audience, the integrator used two high-speed cameras to identify the intersection of X and Y in 3D space through stereoscopic image analysis, predicting ball trajectory with exceptional precision. This technology provides assistance to the chief umpire who can make more informed decisions, enhancing the fairness and accuracy of game outcomes.