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FC Barcelona, through the Barça Innovation Hub (BIHUB), has signed an agreement with Pixellot, the sports technology company that specializes in audiovisual technology, to develop a system for automated recording and processing of images of the ordinary sporting activities that take place on the Club’s premises, mainly at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper training ground and in the Estadi Johan Cruyff. Thanks to this partnership, the Club will become a testing laboratory for developing new products for automated artificial intelligence-based viewing and recording of training sessions and matches, the aim being to improve technical and tactical analysis by the managers of different professional sports at the Club. These new products will also be used to support the methodology employed by the Barça Academy.
For the last three years, Pixellot has been supplying this technology to the Club in the form of automated cameras installed at the Ciutat Esportiva, and more recently in the Estadi Johan Cruyff, which record all of the sporting activities that happen there without the need for any human intervention. Now, and as a result of this latest agreement, Pixellot will not only be a supplier but also an innovative partner of FC Barcelona. Among other services, the sports tech company will be sending its own staff to work in liaison with the Club’s coaches and analysts to identify improvements and develop new products for use in the Barça sphere, but which could also be sold to other clubs, academies, and schools in different sports around the world, thus making the Club, in association with Pixellot, a leading center of innovation in terms of solutions for the automated recording of sports activities.
The main advantage of this technology is the use of artificial intelligence to record games and training sessions using automated cameras, in such a way that player and ball movements can be analyzed in different game situations, while footage and highlights can immediately be created featuring whatever actions the analysts choose. These images offer invaluable information to coaches, as they are almost instantaneously able to analyze and correct what the players are doing. These innovations will also serve purposes outside of the Ciutat Esportiva, as one of the main work areas is the creation of new viewing and analysis products that can be adapted to the methodology used by the Club’s Barça Academies around the world.
Aside from sports, the system can also be used for entertainment, and one future work area could be for such content to be shown on the Club’s new OTT, Barça TV +.
Sstatement by Marta Plana, secretary of the Board of Directors and head of BIHUB:
“This agreement with Pixellot meets one of the goals of the Barça Innovation Hub, which is to team up with leading technology companies to co-develop products and services that can help to improve not just the Club but also sport and society in general. In this case, in association with Pixellot, and through the use of artificial intelligence, we are developing an application for use both in the coaching and the management of sport. This technology can, for example, closely monitor certain plays and movements, and the recording can then be automated, providing qualitative information of major value to our coaches and analysts.”
Statement by Alon Werber, CEO of Pixellot:
“Our team is excited to be joining forces with the Barça Innovation Hub and accelerating the development and sales strategy for our entertainment and analysis solution. For the last three years we have been installing Pixellot systems throughout the Club’s facilities, including the world-famous Camp Nou and the Palau Blaugrana, recording thousands of hours of entertainment and live matches. Our extended association with the Club and the Barça Innovation Hub shows how interested elite sports are in improving on-field and on-court performance by using leading technologies.”
Pixellot offers automated sports production solutions that provide affordable alternatives to traditional video capture, production, and distribution systems for professional and semi-professional sporting events. Founded in 2013, Pixellot’s AI technology solution streamlines production workflow by creating a stitched panoramic image of the entire playing surface. Advanced algorithms enable automated coverage of the flow of play and generate highlights. Pixellot systems are deployed by broadcasters, production companies, clubs, federations, universities, high schools, sports portals, and coaching solution providers around the globe.
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