Motion tracking systems and cameras are not exactly “new” pieces of tech but the software that drives the video analysis has come a long way in recent years. Where once motion capture had to be done in special environments with assisted attachments or visual markers on the body of an individual these new cameras and software can detect, analyze, digitize and distinguish motion from numerous moving elements without the use of markers.
Essentially, the cameras are arranged in such a way that they capture motion from different angles. In the video above you can see an example of a fairly rudimentary three camera setup for capturing motion. The results are impressive, albeit somewhat crude by comparison to today’s top tech.
Can you imagine looking at a fight and being able to analyze the fighters movements? Perhaps even have a total three dimensional animated rendering that can be used for analysis by trainers and coaches or even by judges when making difficult calls?
Sounds exciting doesn’t it? Well MMA fans aren’t the only ones who might eventually benefit from this. In-fact, it was reported earlier today by the Associated Press via ESPN that the NBA has partnered with STATS to install SportVU motion-tracking cameras in every arena this season. They will be using a more advanced 6 camera system in an effort to provide coaches, players and fans masses of data intended to reveal what it takes to succeed at basketball’s highest level.
There’s no doubt that MMA athletes and fans alike would love the opportunity to analyze each move from every angle to get the clearest picture of a TKO with specifics on how and when it occurred. Trainers and coaches would have a new medium to help dissect technique and allow fighters to improve their form, correct bad habits and also understand their weaknesses.
If used properly, this technology could not only improve the quality of a fighter’s technique but it will also provide fans with mounds more data to keep them interested and educated on the sport they love. Here’s to hoping that the UFC or any other promotion follows the NBA’s lead!