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The Augmented Reality America's Cup

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the eyes-have-it dept.

Technology 33

First time accepted submitter Tekla Perry writes "In 'The Augmented Reality America's Cup' Stan Honey and Ken Milnes describe the positioning, communications, graphics, and augmented reality technology they developed that will be used in the upcoming America's Cup races and, they hope, will change the way sailing is televised and watched forever after. Honey and Milnes pioneered car navigation with the startup Etak, and changed the way we watch football on TV with Sportvision's yellow line."

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Does anybody actually read Slashdot anymore? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44711953)

There's this thing called "Reddit" you might want to check out.

And loving it... (1)

djupedal (584558) | about a year ago | (#44711957)

The metrics available for viewers have long been a hallmark of the America's Cup. They just keep getting better every time it comes around. I look at it as a hint to what other sports will eventually provide as well as what may trickle down into the consumer arena.

Might as well just upload it all to the cloud (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44712005)

and let the computer render the results for you. Why risk human lives on volitile boats that can flip over and drown people. Or better yet we can get autonomous boats to run the race. I'm sure Google can get started on that as soon as those awesome driving cars have revolutionized transportation.

Re:Might as well just upload it all to the cloud (3, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#44712067)

I think you missed the point. The race will be run as usual. The presentation to the viewers on TV and online will be 'enhanced' so you can see features of the course not clearly visible. Or as in the case of wind direction, invisible. Its like the first down yellow line in football. Sure, you can see the sideline marker. But where the play is taking place on the field relative to some invisible line is made more clear by the graphics.

Re:Might as well just upload it all to the cloud (3, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | about a year ago | (#44712461)

It gets better than that.

watching the Louis VItton cup the races themselves could be boring but I literally watched the race on Youtube and used my nexus tablet to watch the virtual race at that same time.

i was watching the race from two different points of view one of which i could control to get Virtual but better camera angles and the other from the TV broadcast. I could see positions of the competitors distance to marks, etc. I could also see the obvious tactical problems where the competitors could have done something different.

I for one welcome our robot yacht-enabled ... (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about a year ago | (#44712053)

I for one welcome our robot yacht-enabled overlords as they race using green technology and relay doctored information back to us for bread and circuses.

Re:I for one welcome our robot yacht-enabled ... (1)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#44713019)

One Rich Asshole Called Larry Ellison.

This isn't sailing, it's a contest of technology and money.

Re:I for one welcome our robot yacht-enabled ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44715533)

Thus has the America's Cup always been. Remember the Hula Hoop or the Winged Keel Bulb?

Nobody's watching (4, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#44712173)

Who cares? This is a race where Larry Ellison had to pay other teams to race against him. Turns out people don't want to watch some billionaire's ego trip just because it's presented in a sports format.

Re:Nobody's watching (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44712373)

Who cares? This is a race where Larry Ellison had to pay other teams to race against him. Turns out people don't want to watch some billionaire's ego trip just because it's presented in a sports format.

The really sad part is that Ellison also managed to sell the cup as a big money maker for San Fransisco. It hasn't been a disaster, but it also hasn't brought the crowds in like he thought, and the city will probably not make back what they have put into it. It's actually a little sad how there is all this infrastructure, and even on the best days, about half capacity.

Re:Nobody's watching (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44713045)

even sadder is that Ellison's team got caught cheating but the officiating committee probably won't actually make any punishment as that would imply the team did something unethical or untoward.

also, a crewmember of one team was killed during practice earlier this year (Bart Simpson, no relation) So some people are putting in a really strong effort for a great sporting event, but it's dangerous, expensive and people are cheating. A lot like most pro sporting television actually.

This technology has been around for many years (3, Informative)

rgbe (310525) | about a year ago | (#44712179)

Animation Research Limited in New Zealand pioneered this way back in 1992 for the America's Cup in San Diego. It was revolutionary, what's in the article above is just evolutionary.

Some pix I could find of the original, seem to be not many around: [] []

Here is was Animation Research Limited are working to today: []

Re:This technology has been around for many years (1)

the_other_chewey (1119125) | about a year ago | (#44712497)

Well... Virtual Eye "...provides real-time 3D graphics of Cricket, Golf, Formula 1 and Sailing for broadcasters"

While this is neat and takes lots of sensors as well, they create 100% CGI views by virtual cameras.

This article however is about real-time augmented reality overlays on live video
shot from boats and helicopters. That's a lot more impressive.

Sailing? (1)

Radagast (2416) | about a year ago | (#44712265)

People actually watch sailing in any numbers? I thought it was mostly something TV stations showed to be able to sell advertising slots to Rolex, who value the eyeballs of the 0.1%.

Reddit beats Slashdot's ass. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44712295)

And there's less faggots.

Re:Reddit beats Slashdot's ass. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44713059)

I looked at reddit and I don't get it. That hand drawing interface, splattered with meaningless spam titles, and a mascot no less; with a too cute name that sounds like ...Snooze? The whole thing looks and feels super gay. Yes I guess, it is sad Slashdot doesn't have a mascot we can all hug it up to. However, if you need it, how about this side view of a straight up erection prepped to penetrate your reddit loving ass. /. If that wasn't enough, here's another. /. And another. /. And one more for good measure. /.

Re:Reddit beats Slashdot's ass. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44713705)

And there are even fewer attempts to get their grammar right, I'm guessing.

Nice! Squirt Guns on the TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44712315)

Oh yeah, and add a fan for the "Wind In Your Face" simulation!

This is nothing ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44712913)

Next we get to see a dick's eye view of Larry Ellison's asshole, live from
Larry's home in Hawaii !

Re:This is nothing ... (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about a year ago | (#44714861)

Thanks Bob. Now over to the weather. It sure is hot a sticky down here. Humidity increasing and that cold front remains elusive. Back to you in the studio.

Amazing technology (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44713223)

These boats are truly incredible. 3-4 times wind speed, 55mph top speed, 7 tonnes and rigid wings the size of a 747 wing. They are racing at speeds that would have held the all-comers sailing speed records 20 years ago.

The americas cup is the oldest internationally contested sporting competition in world, and is a lot like F1 where winning means you need to have a combination of great drivers, great fund-raisers and great engineers - so there are a ton of elements to combine on and off the water that help to keep intrigue and speculation high. Many of the sailors are olympic medalists in smaller yacht classes.

Because these are the first generation in this catamaran class they do not have close racing - relative performance differences are large between the competitors, though bookies are picking the finals to be quite close. Also the San Fransisco venue is a bit compromised as large tidal currents and the narrow short course means that boats must generally sail a fairly prescribed route to maximise their speed, meaning less opportunity for overtaking (same issue as F1).

If they stick with this class for a second generation and move to a less tidally influenced venue then performance gaps will close and the racing will improve. But for the initiated this is a truly revolutionary event. Larry Ellison deserves a lot of credit for having the vision to go for something new like this sailing at 3-4x the speed of the old america's cup monohulls.

$8 million robots (1)

rho (6063) | about a year ago | (#44713993)

The last meaningful America's Cup races were held in the late '80s. Somebody squinted hard enough at the 12-meter rules and entered a multi-hull. Now it's just a matter of who spends the most money on a carbon fiber boat with a wing sail. This is a sailing race of fundamentally unseaworthy vessels. It would be literally be safer to cross an ocean in a dinghy than in one of these monstrosities.

Come September, do yourself a favor. Watch Deep Water on Netflix. Read any book on Ernest Shackleton. Read any Lin and Larry Pardey book. You'll finish all three before the America's Cup race is over, and you'll know more about sailing than watching every second of the America's Cup races.

Re:$8 million robots (1)

cis4 (2565359) | about a year ago | (#44714289)

You mean the races aren't over yet? I live in the bay area, and it feels like they've been going on forever. And I keep wanting to say only one team is competing?

Re:$8 million robots (1)

oobayly (1056050) | about a year ago | (#44714579)

Somebody squinted hard enough at the 12-meter rules and entered a multi-hull.

Nope, the Kiwis (Michael Fay) were pretty pissed off with Dennis Connor for accusing them of cheating by entering "Plastic Fantastic" [] , and so under the Deed of Gift challenged them to a match in 90ft yachts (the largest allowed), Dennis Connor entered a multi and the Kiwis went with the Big Boat - it was a disaster, similar to the "match" 22 years later.

I agree with the sea worthiness bit, but at least ETNZ can suffer a 30kt deceleration in 2s [] with very little to show (torn trampoline and damaged fairing). The protocol specified boats that could be raced in 33kts and I reckon the Kiwis "Tractor" could. Yes the racing has been pretty shit so far, but don't pretend that the 12m races of the [late] 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s were always neck and neck. If you know anything about sailing, and I guess you do, you can't help but be impressed by the skill of crew in the AC72s.

1970 - 4-1 - first time in something like 25 years that a challenger actually won a race
1974 - 4-0
1977 - 4-0
1980 - 4-1
1983 - 4-3 - We all remember that one
1987 - 4-0
1988 - 2-0 - We'd like to forget this one

I would like to see the Cup going back to national rules (like before the Swiss ruined it), but it would put a lot of Kiwis, Ozzies & Brits out of jobs - Oracle Team USA is more like Oracle Team ANZAC.

I'm not a Kiwi, but I've a huge amount of respect for them.

Re:$8 million robots (1)

ah.clem (147626) | about a year ago | (#44716261)

That is certainly one way to look at it; another is that Conner acted the complete douche and, through bad behavior, humiliated himself, the US and the spirit of the race by whining after being beaten fairly and decisively, then used "American Smarts" to weasel waterline lengths to build and campaign what he thought would be a "face-saver" that turned out to be another US humiliation, as he figuratively had his crew dragging their feet in the water in an effort to under-sail a high performance multi against a hull built to the spirit of the rule, and ended up in another great American institution, a court of law, defending against an accusation of being a douche - unfortunately, there is no law in the US preventing douchery, and Conner prevailed, but not after heaping more shame on the country. Conner's "Cheat To Win" - sorry, "Stars and Stripes" boats pretty much put an end to the spirit of the cup races, but went a long way in upholding the image of the "Ugly American" throughout the sailing world.

At this point, match racing production hulls, something you or I might take around the world, would be, in my opinion, a much better and more exciting and informative race than what the Cup has turned into.

Just my opinion.

Re:$8 million robots (1)

oobayly (1056050) | about a year ago | (#44717013)

Don't get me wrong, I think Dennis Connor was a complete dickhead - I was just trying to be a bit more impartial that I had to be. Unfortunately, OTUSA appear to be doing a Connor and trying to manipulate the rules (Ruddergate & Weightgate), and what's novel is that Coutts (the man who took the Cup back from Connor) is the man who is dragging it down.

Yes, using match racing production hulls would vastly improve the competition, but the AC (like Formula One) is supposed to be about development which excludes a one-design rule, and unfortunately it means that the AC will be about as exciting F1 as long as long as designers try to get every bit out of the rule. As boring as the can be for non-sailors, I'd like to go back to displacement monohulls too.

Anyhow, I think we might be on the wrong forum.

Re:$8 million robots (1)

ah.clem (147626) | about a year ago | (#44717401)

Anyhow, I think we might be on the wrong forum.

Agreed. Perhaps one day we'll cross wakes in the "roaring forties", heave to and share a libation or two. Now, that would be a story!

Re:$8 million robots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44729617)

Match racing "production" hulls is what the America's Cup should be based on. So you think Ellison took it to far in trying to be honest to the history of the America's Cup and being at the cutting edge of technology. Fine. But why do you want to take the America's Cup down to a "spec" series" about equal to a lower level Auto racing series? Create a great production hull match racing series, but please don't try to call it the America's Cup!!

America's Cup technology (1)

wakely (3035355) | about a year ago | (#44714755)

The level of technology reached during this America's Cup is truly amazing. It is funny and scaring to watch those katamarans flying over the water at 30 to 40kts and the level of awareness and skill gained by the crew.

cool cats but the racing sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717779)

the catamaran boats are cool when they don't break but in my opinion that doesn't translate to exciting racing. The monohulls, while not nearly as fast, were more exciting to watch race because they didn't break as often and the races were not so one sided.

Viewing tech/process is the best thing about AC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717955)

I'd like to be able to watch more sailing races on the internet / TV. I truly think that the best thing to come out of the America's Cup Races this time around is the video tech with the ability to watch online easily. I'd really like to see that transfer to other sailing races.

The boat tech is also nice. But by requiring the race to be sooo expensive (100+ million?), it has devolved, even more that it has always been (if that is possible), into a very small number of teams who's owners behave like spoiled twelve year olds. Unless you enjoy babysitting spoiled, rich, entitled kids, the race is not nearl as fun to watch as it really could have been.

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