CAST Group will launch a new and upgraded version of its groundbreaking BlackTrax system at the PLASA 2012 show in London this month.
Exhibiting on booth 1-E27, the company will showcase BlackTrax V1 using tracked spotlights to demonstrate how the speed of the system has been increased by between two and four times that of the original. This is in part thanks to a newly-implemented Ethernet connection between the BlackTrax cameras and controller, replacing the USB connectivity of the system shown at last year’s PLASA event.
Using proprietary IR technology, BlackTrax V1 tracks objects or people in a defined 3D Space and delivers dynamic positional data of up to six degrees of freedom – the usual x, y, z, plus roll, pitch and yaw – in realtime to audio, lighting and media technologies. This paves the way for countless creative possibilities, among them, the world’s first true 3D audio output. The precise position and orientation of an audio source can be recorded and the data used either on the fly, to adjust sound reproduction equipment accordingly, or called upon in post production, where it will allow engineers to recreate the 6D properties of the sound, turning live recordings into fully-immersive experiences in which the camera represents not only the eyes of the audience, but its ears, too.
Anything tagged with an IR LED beacon (not dissimilar in size and shape to a microphone belt-pack) can be tracked. This is made possible by a gyroscope within the beacon that communicates the orientation of the object at over 150 frames-per-second. Should the IR line of sight become obstructed, the BT beacon’s onboard accelerometer provides redundant tracking data to the server, ensuring that there are no ‘dead spots’ within the defined space. BlackTrax can deliver positional data either directly to output equipment, or via BlackBox, which uses realtime bidirectional communication to allow a broad spectrum of production technologies to interact with one another. The system is fully scalable and while the standard installation can easily handle an area of 130 cubic feet or more, an extended system can cover a much larger space.
BlackTrax V1 is set to change the way professionals in the theatre, broadcast, film and numerous other industries work. It offers an entirely new degree of creative freedom and control, allowing for practical and economical enhancement in a multitude of live production situations. Building on the success of BlackTrax 3D, itself the recipient of a PLASA Innovation Award, BlackTrax V1 was recently recognised with the IABM (International Association of Broadcasting Manufacturers) Game-Changers Award, presented at the NAB show Las Vegas. This award acknowledges the system’s potential to “revolutionise the industry”.
CAST Chairman Bruce Freeman comments: “We believed that BlackTrax was what the market wanted and now we know. We have met industry professionals from around the world and they tell us that BlackTrax is unbelievable – and what they want. They are in awe at its speed and precision.”