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Barça Academy and grassroots football now have access to a new technology that can more comprehensively monitor their teams’ sporting activities thanks to the launch of Pixellot Air, a new portable camera that can be used at any football ground or sports centre to automatically record games and training sessions and obtain detailed technical data and information about the activities being done.
This new camera designed by Pixellot, and co-developed with the Barça Innovation Hub, the FC Barcelona platform for innovation, research and knowledge, and the Barça Academies, is the result of a partnership between FC Barcelona and the sports technology company specialized in the sport audio visual sector that has made the club an innovation laboratory for the development of Artificial Intelligence based automated recording devices.
For the last three years, Pixellot has been supplying FC Barcelona with automated cameras fitted at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper training ground and inside the Estadi Johan Cruyff. They are used to record all sports activities and use Artificial Intelligence to track different game situations based on player and ball movements and can be used to instantaneously put together highlight reels of whatever actions are pre-selected by the analysts.
This new camera expands on this tracking and analysis to all games and training sessions, both on and off the club facilities. The device is a lightweight solution that consists of a camera device that can record more than 12 hours of play and functions automatically without the need for a camera operator, electricity, or internet connection The recording includes instant coding and tagging to obtain match data, heat maps and breakdowns by plays, just like the fixed cameras installed at the Ciutat Esportiva and Estadi Johan Cruyff.
The system is particularly designed for grassroots and amateur football, which in FC Barcelona’s case means the Barça Academies and potentially the different teams in its youth system.
The camera will be available for the 44 Barça Academies around the world to record all of their sporting activities and the detailed analyses will be useful for assessing how the Barça methodology is being applied. The youth teams at the club itself will be able to complement the information it is already generating with details from matches played away from the Ciutat Esportiva and Estadi Johan Cruyff.
The system is already being implemented at the club, for as FC Barcelona is one of the co-developers of the project it has been among the first to be able to trial the system and suggest improvements and new features. The camera is already available at the Barça Escola in Barcelona and the at Barça Academy from Budapest and it is expected to be incorporated soon by other Club Academies. It has also been used in some youth team training sessions and games to fine-tune the system to the specific needs of such situations.
Pau Casassa, Technical Coordinator of EMEA Barça Academy
“This new system co-developed by Pixellot and the Barça Innovation Hub in association with the Barça Academies will provide us with a large amount of video footage that will be of use to the project managers here at Barça Escola and in the different Academies around the world. The material will help us to coach coaches in our methodology and make sure they pass it on to their players, thus safeguarding and expanding our style of play.”
Imanol Eguskiza, Innovation Manager Barça Innovation Hub:
“This agreement is a paradigmatic example of the kind of partnership we have at Barça Innovation Hub and which basically consists of connecting with an innovative ecosystem, with start-ups and with big-tech companies, the main aim being to develop new products and services that will not only have an impact on the club but also on the sports industry and society as a whole."
Alon Werber, CEO Pixellot
"AIR will bring a revolution to grassroot sports and academies. Imagine, an affordable, portable, easy to use device that will not only produce a game or practice automatically, it will also provide all the highlights, statistics, and breakdowns of each play, Now, any coach can review data, heat maps, and share video clips, just like professional teams. In addition, players and fans will also be able to view games and create and share highlights."
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