The transmitters used are tiny, making it easy to embed them in footwear, uniforms and balls. Impact-resistant and waterproof, they are characterized by extreme ruggedness. Their batteries last three to four hours and can be wirelessly recharged.
The reception infrastructure comprises several receiver units positioned around the area under observation. These are connected to a central unit which synchronizes the receivers and calculates the times of arrival of the burst-type signals with the aid of FPGA-based PCI plug-in cards.
The receiver units are constantly being optimized in terms of cost, flexibility and system features.
The collected data is pooled in a Linux-based computer network which comprises a number of standard servers interconnected via Ethernet. Dedicated system software calculates each transmitter’s position in real time and allows the information to be immediately displayed on a 3D user interface. When used during a soccer game, for instance, the system makes it possible to visualize the positions of players and the ball on a virtual soccer field. The computer network, along with the associated software, is also being enhanced on an ongoing basis with a view to minimizing resource usage.
Event detection software
A software component known as an “event observer” enables automatic detection of specific events that are relevant to the given application. The event observer detects a large variety of basic events such as possession of the ball, passes, crosses, goal attempts and shots on goal along with physical data such as step count, distance covered, activity type (standing, walking, jogging, running or sprinting) and speed. A fraction of a second later, the information is made available via a user interface.
Based on the user’s requirements, any number of additional events can be defined. All event data is automatically stored in a database, on the basis of which statistical analyses are run.