An AI camera at a soccer game in Scotland kept tracking a bald referee instead of the ball during a game.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle played Ayr United on Saturday in a home game at the Caledonian Stadium.
The team doesn’t use a cameraman to film games; instead the group relies on an automated camera system to follow the action.
Center forward Nikola Todorov scored the team’s first point of the season and, according to Thick Accent, ‘the camera kept on mistaking the ball for the bald head on the sidelines, denying viewers of the real action while focusing on the linesman instead.’
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The AI cameras at Caledonian Stadium in Inverness, Scotland, kept mistaking this referee’s bald head for the soccer ball. A color commentator for the Inverness Caledonian Thistle apologized for the error
One fan tweeted an image of the hairless official, prompting a representative from an event-production company to reach out.
‘Hi Tom, maybe Inverness could speak with us? We supply @STREAMSTAR2 a purpose-built live production system with 1-8 cameras, 4 layer graphics, 3 level replays for sports,’ tweeted Chris Phillips of CJP Broadcast Service Solutions ltd. ‘Currently being used by MG ALBA, Darlington FC, Oxford FC and Hereford FC. No AI to worry about going wrong.’
Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club, commonly known as Caley Thistle or Caley Jags, competes in the Scottish Championship, the second tier of the Scottish Professional Football League.
The team last won the Scottish Cup in 2015.
A fan tweeted a screenshot of the club’s AI camera tracking an unnamed ref’s bald head instead of the soccer ball. Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club, commonly known as Caley Thistle, competes in the Scottish Championship, the second tier of the Scottish Professional Football League
Many smaller teams rely on AI-powered cameras, as crews and professional recording equipment can be prohibitively expensive.
Copenhagen-based Veo Technologies sells an automated camera system that can record a 180-degree panoramic view of a soccer pitch in 4K resolution, though there’s no indication it was a Veo camera used by Inverness Caledonian Thistle..
Veo’s camera and tripod retail for about $1050, according to Forbes, plus another $1,100 to $1,500 for an annual subscription to Veo’s platform, which lets users tag specific players and access other features.
‘This is just as attractive for youth teams and even families who work out in their backyard, trying to get better,’ CEO Henrik Teisbæk told Forbes.
‘Our vision is to bring affordable technology to all sport teams so every child can use video to become a better athlete and to share those great moments from the game.’
Using a database of over a million images, Veo has trained its AI to follow the ball smoothly, the way a cameraperson would.
It also helps detect kickoffs and goals and can create a highlight reel specified to a particular audience.
‘The more matches our AI processes, the better our algorithms become to anticipate the game, break down highlights of the game, and eventually show statistics of player movement in the game,’ Teisbæk said.
The idea for the technology came when Veo cofounder Keld Reinicke was late for his son’s soccer match and missed him scoring a rare goal.
The company has sold cameras to more than 2,500 clubs around the world, according to The Next Web, including minor-league and youth teams associated with Liverpool FC and Burnley FC in the United Kingdom and Spain’s RCD Espanyol de Barcelona.
It’s also expanding into basketball, rugby, American football, lacrosse and hockey.
Another view of the referee who kept sidetracking the club’s robot cameras. Many smaller teams rely on AI-powered cameras, as crews and professional recording equipment can be prohibitively expensive
Fans who want to help Caley Thistle upgrade its audio-video equipment can have their name etched on the player’s tunnel wall.
For about $65, you can get a message inscribed in the team’s new wall of fame at Caledonian Stadium, the last thing players see before entering the field.
‘Following numerous discussions with fans and stakeholders at ICT, the club has been looking at new ways to allow our supporters to give us additional financial backing,’ a spokesperson told the Inverness Courier.
‘Constant in those discussions is our belief that we should not be looking for a handout from our already extremely loyal fans.’
‘Therefore we have devised the new tunnel Wall of Fame which will stand as a reminder for years to come of how the Caley Jags rallied around the club in our hour of need in 2020.’