TrackingMaster is an automatic camera tracking system for autonomous detection and tracking of lecturers in lecture halls and similar spaces using remotely controllable pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras.
Universities need to build flexible structures that fit the heterogeneous lifestyles of students. These must be independent of spatial and temporal conditions. Lifelong learning is not bound to the location of the university and to event times, but can and must be shifted “outside”. Think of young parents who cannot stick to fixed times, students who can no longer live in cities, and rising student numbers that could only be accommodated with more lecture halls. In addition, young people are increasingly deciding for or against a university on the basis of digital equipment.
Various studies on media didactics prove that an optimal media technology setup has a direct influence on learning success. This is also easy to understand: Imagine having to experience only PowerPoint slides and an audio track for hours on end. It is difficult to maintain the level of concentration. In contrast, in the optimal setup, lecturers are not only recorded in long shot, but are shown to the students as a close-up during the entire lecture. This makes it possible to recognize body language and facial expressions and thus also emotions such as enthusiasm or seriousness, which are known to contribute non-verbally to the understanding of the content.
And wouldn’t it be great if lecturers made canned basic lectures available so that they could devote more attention to individual teaching.
Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences – University of Applied Sciences Braunschweig/ Wolfenbüttel
Tino Tschiesche, deputy director of the Multimedia Center (MMZ) at Friedrich Schiller University in Jena. The heart of the system is the tracking software, which was developed together with dedicated fellow MMZ members.
„The TrackingMaster is an innovative product with which we establish professional media technology for hybrid teaching at colleges and universities. As a system house, we have a trusting partnership with VST GmbH from Saalfeld. We are the first certified “Premium Partner” and offer our customers a showroom in Meckenbeuren at Lake Constance to experience the reliable functionality of the TrackingMaster live.“
Thomas Bellgardt, Owner of Bellgardt Medientechnik in Meckenbeuren (Lake Constance), system integrator
„The laser-based tracking system from VST GmbH in Saalfeld is unique in Germany. Until now, there were only infrared trackers on the market, which you put around your neck on a band, for example, and face tracking. However, in our opinion, these two technologies are impractical and prone to interference, which is why we finally decided to go with VST GmbH. It was also important to us to use a system that the user could connect with one or two cables, then press a button and go live. We quickly realized that we wanted to try this out and have now installed the TrackingMaster here at the THM Friedberg. The system has paid off. We get very good feedback from the lecturers.“
Florian Diehl, Producer of educational technology formats at the Technical University of Central Hesse Friedberg
Florian Diehl of the Technical University of Central Hesse Friedberg
The open interface in version 1.5 again significantly improves the integration of the TrackingMaster into the overall system, enabling a variety of new use cases that are relevant for hybrid teaching.
The TrackingMaster detects the lecturer and his position with millimeter precision. Based on the position, a behavior of the camera can be defined (auto-tracking or approaching a preset). Likewise, as of version 1.5, this information can also be transferred to the media control via the REST API. In the media control, for example, a second camera could then be activated on the basis of a defined position in the room in order to film the students. The lecturer would therefore not have to make any settings in the media control system, but simply move close to the students, for example. Of course, it would also be conceivable to make both camera streams permanently available to the students.
Visualizers are used in many lectures. The focus of the students should then be on the content/object displayed there. As soon as the lecturer stands in front of the Visualizer, the TrackingMaster recognizes this and gives the media control the command to stream the image of the Visualizer instead of the camera image.
Use of two cameras. Variant 1: The lecturer is located to the left of the desk, for example, in which case the media control system tracks the ping with camera 1, or the lecturer is located to the right of the desk, for example, and the media control system tracks the ping with camera 2. The choice of camera for each location can be configured individually. Of course, it is also possible to track with two cameras at the same time and to make both streams available to the students.
Videos are mixed in German and Englisch Language
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