Local Broadband News

3D technology to help businesses at Louth hub

28th November 2013

Louth Technology Hub


Businesses and sports clubs have been able to see how 3D technology could transform the way they work and train at the launch of the latest Onlincolnshire Technology Hub.

Around 30 people gathered at the launch event at the Meridian Leisure Centre in Louth on Tuesday night to see demonstrations of motion capture spot technology, high-speed cameras which can be used to create 3D images and 3D TVs that operate without the need for glasses.

Last night’s demonstrations were so popular that the team stayed for an extra hour to show people how the equipment could benefit them. Guests included the Lincolnshire Sports Partnership, England women’s all-rounder Arran 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: “All of the equipment available is cutting-edge and offers businesses a chance to do things they wouldn’t otherwise be able to.

“The high-speed camera has direct applications to businesses and sports clubs; for example, if you wanted to work out why a lubricant wasn’t working as well as it could during a manufacturing process, you could film it in action and watch the results back. Because the high speed camera records 1,000 images of one million pixel quality per second, you can see things that the eye would miss.

“The same goes for sports – you could film a motion of pushing a wheel on your wheelchair, then play it back to see if there is anything which can be altered to improve your game, such as your gloves slipping on the rim of the wheel. 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 motion capture spot technology system documents movements – such as running, a batting stroke or dribbling a football – and provides statistical analysis which could improve performance.

It works by placing small spherical markers on different parts of the participant’s body, while multiple cameras emit an infrared light which reflects off the markers back to the camera. The camera records the motion of those markers alone, allowing the markers’ movements to be relayed back in real time as they perform an action.

The equipment is now available free of charge through the Lincolnshire County Council-run project. The onlincolnshire project works to bring better broadband to the county and provide people with the skills they need to live and work in a digital environment. The hub is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).  

Sports clubs, groups and coaches can access the equipment through the hub, with a university graduate carrying out the filming. Those interested would make an application for support detailing what they would like to analyse, and if that fits with the research the graduate is carrying out, it can go ahead.

Speaking after trying out the motion capture equipment, Arran Brindle said: “This is a very interesting bit of technology. When you’re batting, it’s more about technique and timing, so if through this technology it’s found that there is a better position you could be using, and compare the results, then it could really help. It will be interesting to see what develops from this.”

Cllr Colin Davie, Executive Member for Economic Development at Lincolnshire County Council, officially opened the hub. He said: “This is a great resource for the county and one which can offer a direct benefit to businesses and sports clubs. We can only improve and succeed by embracing new and exciting technologies such as those offered by the hubs, and we hope to see many people taking advantage of it.”

The hub will also offer businesses the chance to use a special 3D camera which they can operate themselves.

Bookings for the filming support can be made through David Mullineaux from the University of Lincoln on 01522 837143 or dmullineaux@lincoln.ac.uk. Bookings for the 3D camera and TV can be made on 01507 607650.