Vaddio puts classes on the web
Vaddio, manufacturer and OEM distributor of PTZ cameras and camera control systems, equipped Canadian-based Applied Electronics with a TrackVIEW automated camera tracking system to record class lectures and presentations for remote viewing at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario.
Queens University Principal, Dr. Thomas R. Williams, created several different taskforces throughout the university with the direction to explore, review and make preliminary recommendations on key issues facing the university, both in short term and long term. One of these taskforces focused on alternatives in curriculum delivery outside of the classroom. Video streaming would allow students to access classes from another room on campus or even from their own living room, eliminating the need for more classroom space. "We were looking for a solution that would help automate the capturing of lectures and presentations," explained Luc Wauters, analyst, ITServices at Queen's University, who specialises in Teaching & Learning Support. "We needed a scalable solution that was worry free and did not necessarily require a camera operator."
With the guidance of Wauters, Vaddio’s TrackVIEW system was installed in the Faculty and Staff Learning Facility in Mackintosh-Corry Hall, a 65-seat, tiered lecture theatre. TrackVIEW is a presenter-controlled camera system that incorporates both monitor-based tracking and camera pre-set tracking.
Each TrackVIEW system installed includes two Sony EVI-D70s (one for reference, one for tracking), a TrackVIEW Controller with built-in EZCamera Cable System, a Vaddio IR Remote Commander, power supply, a dual camera mount, rack ears and system set-up software. The systems are set up with two StepVIEW mats, used as pre-set triggers allowing the presenter to stay on-camera while walking between pre-set camera shots. The StepVIEW mats come in a rubberised, non-slip exposed auto locator mat for permanent installation.
TrackVIEW doesn’t eliminate the option of using computers, whiteboards or document cameras - rather it complements them using different pre-set trigger options.
"The camera is completely unobtrusive," said Nancy Owen, co-ordinator, Support Services, ITServices, Queens University. "It doesn’t blink. It doesn’t buzz and you can focus on your presentation while being oblivious to the technology. All in all, it provides a very nice lecture package."