Sample Project Proposals: Product Design

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System to Track Athletes's Position Using Video

Overview

Trak Performance software allows a user to track where an athlete or official (hereafter will just refer to players) moves around a field/rink/court (field for short), thereby providing tactical information on how the player uses the field, and their velocity (which translates into work rate), both of great interest to coaches. The Trak Performance software assists the user in tracking players, one player at a time, by providing a diagram of the field on screen, and recording the user's mouse movements as the user follows the player's movements around the field, watching a separate video. The user can also setup hot keys to hit when various events occur, like a shot.

There are systems that track player movements, such as ProZone, but they require a major, permanent system installation at the stadium, and cost on the order of $10,000/game and require sending the video out to a processing center.

When we saw a demonstration of ProQueSys, it seemed that the technique used in the goldfish example could potentially be applied to the problem of tracking players as they moved around a field.

Goals

To determine the feasibility and, if feasible, the computational requirements to semi-automatically track entire team(s) of athletes as they move about a field using a single camera angle and the ProQueSys software system. We define 'tracking' an athlete as knowing where they are on a field at every instance of time, thereby not only knowing their location, but thereby being able to calculate their velocity, and thus determine running speed, work rate etc.

Deliverables

Required Facilities

All development must be on the Macintosh OS X platform as that is how we deliver all of our software.

Knowledge Areas Needed for Project

Proprietary Information and Confidentiality Requirements

The Super Intelligent Earplug

Overview

It goes without saying that classical music is dramatically different from all other musical styles. It may be less obvious to many people, though, that some of those differences are:

  1. The music is almost always performed purely acoustically, without any amplification whatsoever (except when performing in outdoor venues) and
  2. The music is often extremely flexible, and the musicians are continuously adjusting to each other (and the conductor) in order to stay together, and
  3. The music vacillates frequently and rapidly between volume extremes and furthermore often has different instruments playing simultaneously both very loud and very soft.

In order for the classical music performer to be able to perform at their peak they need to be able to hear well both themselves and their colleagues at all times.

As the symphony orchestra has evolved over the last 200 years the number of instruments has increased dramatically, and the volume of many of those instruments has also increased. For many orchestral musicians it is now imperative that they wear ear protection if they expect to retain their hearing throughout their career. (The major symphony orchestras have experimented with sound baffles, meant to protect the more downstage musicians from the louder sounds of the more upstage players, with mixed results. There is, however, general agreement that they are unsightly to the audience.)

Unfortunately, any ear protection yet devised causes a significant loss of clarity of the ambient sounds, often making it difficult or impossible for the musicians to hear themselves. Additionally, the musicians are forced to insert and remove earplugs often during a performance, a distraction to themselves, their colleagues and the audience. The classical musician needs to be able to continue to hear clearly and well, yet have the total volume stay at manageable, non-damaging levels.

The Intelligent Earplug will enable the performing musician to hear well and clearly at all times by passing through to the ear-canal all safe sounds at a very high level of audio fidelity. For obvious reasons this needs to be accomplished without any noticeable latency. Those sounds that exceed the user-selectable threshold for loudness comfort will be reduced to the threshold level. The Intelligent Earplug will be as small, discrete and comfortable as conventional earplugs in order that its use will be transparent to the concert-going audience. It will operate with its own self-contained power source in order that it not require any wires, even if that means that it will need to be charged between uses.

Performers on some of the lower volume and lower pitched instruments (e.g. the cellos and basses) often find that they cannot monitor their own sound well at low volume, even when the overall volume of the orchestra is below the threshold for damage. In this situation one is often instinctively tempted to play slightly louder, resulting in a lack of blend within the section.

The Super-Intelligent Earplug will additionally allow the performer to mix into the ambient sound a small user-controllable amount of his/her own sound. The Super-Intelligent Earplug will add a wireless pickup, discretely mounted on the instrument, with the ability to transmit wirelessly to the Intelligent Earplug. In order that many musicians might simultaneously use this technology, it is important that the wireless transmitter and receiver be paired in a way that they can only communicate with each other.

Goals

Determine the best hardware and software configuration to maximize audio fidelity while minimizing power requirements for each of the three components.

Deliverables

Ideally, one working prototype with ideas for future improvements.

Knowledge Areas Needed for Project

Proprietary Information and Confidentiality Requirements

None

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