The Intel Olympic Technology Group (OTG) is a division of Intel focused on bringing cutting-edge technology to Olympic athletes and helping them to better prepare for the Olympic Games.
The Intel OTG wanted to create a smart coaching application using computer vision pose estimation models. These models use key point locations on the body, like joints, to calculate biomechanical attributes relevant to athletes, such as velocity, acceleration, and posture etc.
Motion capture was first used in biomechanics in the late 1970s to analyze a subject’s gait. But a lot has changed since then. Today, this technology is being used across the increasingly data-driven sports industry.
The information generated using motion capture software empowers coaches to identify issues that may be preventing a player from improving their performance. This technology can also be used to prevent injuries. When physiotherapists use motion capture software to analyze the kinematics of a particular movement, it is feasible to identify any range of motion (ROM) issues and determine if these are linked to pain or injury in the athlete. When it comes to movement analysis, the accuracy of data is key. The precise data collection and instant translation of this data makes it viable for coaches and physiotherapists to identify areas where re-injury might occur, determine an appropriate recovery time and provide evidence-based recommendations for rehabilitation. 3D motion capture software can also be used to track the movements of an entire team. This data can be used by coaches to strategize better because it is possible to track a range of player performance factors – like accelerations or decelerations.
Benjamin Hansen, Product Engineering Lead in AI & Sports Technology for Intel OTG, has been using motion capture to do just this. Describing himself “a lifetime customer of Motion Analysis”, he has utilized Motion Analysis systems to provide athlete testing services to elite athletes and professional baseball teams. And now, he’s using Cortex to validate and benchmark the smart coaching application described above.
Cortex is Motion Analysis’ most powerful motion capture software that completely manages motion capture and measurement for all applications from biomechanics, broadcasting, and engineering to sports performance, game production, and film.
One of the projects the OTG worked on using Cortex was 3D Athlete Tracking (3DAT). Intel’s motion tracking platform, 3DAT, creates scalable technology that advances the understanding of human health and performance. Crucially, it relies on a Motion Analysis system, which includes Kestrel cameras and Cortex software, to benchmark data accuracy in order to inform the necessary algorithms. Developed over four years for athletes competing at the Tokyo & Beijing Olympics, 3DAT is now being commercialized as a camera agnostic motion capture software development kit (SDK) that developers can use to create biomechanics solutions for the sports, health, and fitness industries.
Want to find out more about Intel’s journey with Motion Analysis? Download the full case study, here, to learn more.