Looking for automated camera
December 7, 2010 5:17 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend a camera that I can mount to a wall or ceiling that will follow an instructor automatically?

This is one of those things I feel like should absolutely exist, but I can't seem to find it anywhere. I need a camera that does a relatively good job of panning along with the professor as he walks back and forth, so that we can get a tight shot of the professor without losing him when he walks too far one way or the other. Preferably this camera would come with RCA video output.

Anyone know of anything or want to recommend anything?
posted by superbird to Technology (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I know I've seen Google Tech Talks that appear to have one. It was a bit distracting because the lecturer kept straddling the line between "zoomed in on speaker" and "zoomed out and strolling along the powerpoint / chalkboard".

A quick googling turns up a lot of IEEE research papers, but no products. Perhaps you should get in touch with other classroom tech depts in other colleges, or dig through EDUCAUSE proceedings?
posted by pwnguin at 6:26 AM on December 7, 2010

Google motion tracking camera. They are security cameras but should work for your purposes.
posted by JJ86 at 6:54 AM on December 7, 2010

We use a Canon VC-C50i "Communication Camera" for VC. The brochure says "Motion detection capability enables you to set up to four motion detection areas, each with varying levels of sensitivity. When subject motion (a change in pixels) is detected, the camera can be set to pan and tilt to follow the subject's movement. Pre-recorded audio can also be set to playback on cue."

As far as usefulness/problems, they seem to work perfectly but are "super expensive", though no one who was in knew that for sure. I think older systems had a radio transmitter that the cameras would triangulate and follow around. Apparently this is all done via image processing now.
posted by jwells at 7:03 AM on December 7, 2010

There seem to be quite a few listed with a quick Google search.
posted by lampshade at 7:47 AM on December 7, 2010

There's the TrackerPod. You snap a webcam onto it. It's a motorized base that moves the webcam under the control of your computer (interfaces by USB). The included software can do automatic tracking of a human face.
posted by Paquda at 10:59 AM on December 7, 2010

« Older All three would be best of all...   |   Follow the power lines Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.