Shotoku Broadcast Systems to Hit the Heights with Graphica, a New Series of VR/AR Tracked Camera Cranes, at IBC 2017

Graphica to join SmartPed robotic pedestal, SmartTrack rail camera system and Free-d2 tracking system on Stand 12.E42

Sunbury, UK • Shotoku Broadcast Systems, the well-established leader in manual and robotic camera support, and virtual reality tracking, has announced plans to introduce the European market to Graphica, its recently launched series of manual virtual / augmented reality (VR / AR) tracked camera cranes in Amsterdam at the IBC 2017 show. The series is the result of a partnership with well-established crane manufacturer CamMate, known for its quality of engineering. The company will also showcase its popular SmartPed fully robotic XY pedestal, SmartTrack ceiling mounted rail camera system, and Free-d2 a next-gen tracking system.


The Graphica Series  – launched globally at recent NAB 2017 – blends the company’s superb VR technology with the engineering know-how of prestigious crane maker, CamMate. The result is a range of manual VR / AR tracked camera cranes with industry-leading tracking capabilities in a portable package that is scalable, stable and, most importantly, repeatable. Graphica calculates positional data output from embedded physical rotary encoders designed specifically for VR applications. Free of the jitters, external markers, and area limitations often associated with other positional tracking systems, Shotoku encoders seamlessly process data via the SPI interface to provide real-time data output, in the studio or on location.


The SPi-Touch origin reset and 2-Point calibration function adds another level of convenience and high production flexibility. A true set-and-forget system, complete calibration is needed only once and can be achieved in 20 seconds. SPi-Touch comes standard on every model.


Suitable for all types of production, 7 models of varying lengths are available to create dynamic camerawork in the smallest studios or the largest of outdoor sporting events. Custom-made carry cases for easy transport are included with every purchase.


“Graphica’s overwhelmingly positive reception at NAB 2017 confirmed that it is the perfect solution for VR/AR applications ranging from studio use to outdoor events,” said Tony Hanada, managing director of Shotoku Corporation.  “Graphica rounds-out our VR range and represents the best of CamMate, a respected manufacturer known for its dedication to quality performance, and Shotoku, an acknowledged leader in camera and VR/AR support. The series will allow customers and integrators to source any VR tracking solution from Shotoku, and provide them with the most advanced and reliable technology available.”


Highlights – Shotoku’s “Smart” Solutions

SmartPed Robotic Pedestal

The company is also showcasing its SmartPed Robotic Pedestal, a fully robotic XY pedestal launched in 2016 and already embraced by some of the world’s most prominent broadcasting organizations. SmartPed addresses the creative and commercial demands of on-air environments with a cost-efficient and high-performance solution. The three wheel smooth-steer pedestal features a new height column without any need of pneumatic balancing, multi-zone collision avoidance and detection systems, and precision-engineered, electro-mechanical steer/drive system for unparalleled levels of performance and reliability.  SmartPed offers instant switchover between local/remote operation, which makes the pedestal versatile and easily operated in any application.  No re-reference or calibration is ever required when switching between these modes and a pan-bar mounted local joystick enables easy control from the studio floor as necessary.  Intended specifically for use in demanding, high-profile live TV productions day after day, the SmartPed design has reliability and ease of use built-in from the start.


SmartTrack – Ceiling Mounted Rail Track Camera System

Shotoku continues its “hit the heights” theme with the demonstration of a ceiling mounted SmartTrack rail camera system, including full elevation control.  The demonstration will show the amazing camera control that can really only be achieved with a ceiling mounted track / elevation system.  Following its great success in the unique “Glass Box” studio at Sky News UK, the ceiling based SmartTrack has proved itself as a truly revolutionary high-end track based system.


VR/AR Tracking

Free-d2 Absolute Tracking System

The company will also show its Free-d2 Absolute Tracking System, a next-generation tracking system that does not require physical encoder devices attached to the camera support’s moving axes. The Free-d2 system, which is ideal for VR/AR news, sports and current affairs live studio productions, uses advanced video processing algorithms and simple ceiling markers to precisely determine the exact position and orientation of the studio camera, thus providing highly accurate and constantly referenced (absolute) position tracking. No concept of a home or reference point exists for Free-d2 — wherever the camera is positioned is immediately known. The tracking data never drifts regardless of the number of moves or hours of operation.


Shotoku will have its range of pedestals, height drives, pan/tilt heads and control systems for live studio productions in traditional or VR/AR applications on display as well.


About Shotoku Broadcast Systems

Shotoku Broadcast Systems is an international leader in the manufacture and marketing of a full range of camera support products with emphasis on manual and robotic pedestals and pan/tilt heads for the television broadcast industry. The Company also provides robotic camera systems capable of interfacing with third-party equipment. Established as an engineering design firm specializing in advanced mechanics and electronic control systems, Shotoku maintains headquarters in Japan with offices in the UK, China and the USA.   The Company’s robotic camera systems are designed, developed and manufactured in Sunbury, UK. For further information:

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