Shotoku Broadcast Systems’ VR tracking system used for CNN’s Election Night ‘holograms’
December 7, 2008
What began as a stretch of the imagination 4-5 years ago became a reality on Election Night as CNN’s Wolf Blitzer delivered “live” interviews of 3-D off-site subjects, and replicas of the Capitol Building sprung out of thin air using the combined equipment and technology of approximately 10 organizations. Bringing virtual technology to a previously unattainable level, broadcast engineer/consultant Jason Odell selected Shotoku’s VR tracking pedestals and jib to provide position information from multiple cameras to the telemetry tracking system. Working on behalf of David Bohrman, CNN senior VP and Washington Bureau chief, Odell assembled a cast of vendors that included Shotoku, led by CNN Engineering, to create the illusion of a 3-D subject. Thirty-five HD cameras took aim at subjects hundreds of miles away in Chicago with Shotoku’s jibs and pedestals instantly calculating the camera’s position via high-resolution encoders. Every moving part of the Shotoku system, from the wheels of the pedestals to the pan-and-tilt motion of the heads, was precisely tracked and sent via fiber to Chicago to the computer that mimicked real-world behavior. For more information visit
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