While the scenery and style of golf means that it is arguably one of the best candidates for a sport to be shown in 3D on TV, another broadcasting innovation is seeking the precision game as its proving ground, with specialist cable network the Golf Channel attempting to literally ‘launch’ a new form of filming technology for their coverage of the sport.
Revealed in a leaked image on Twitter last Thursday (through ‘Titleist’), the product appears to be a flying automated drone that carries a camera on its underside, presumably meaning fully-mobile aerial shots of games will be attempted (as opposed to the limited high shots from ‘cable cams’ in stadium sports).
The rumours hint at the Golf Channel using the technology in an attempt to ‘drastically alter’ the manner in which the sport is given television covered on television.
The invention of the device cannot be credited to the network, however, as they are using external prototype called the Hoverfly Erista, a multi-propeller based flying machine that does not carry a high-tech appearance compared to what some might be used to in recent years, but does stay in the air leaving room for a perfect 360-degree shot (through a camera rotation system) when stationary.
The official Hoverfly website describes the Erista camera as: “With the largest carrying capacity of any multi-rotor aerial cinema system available, ERISTA captures breathtaking, epic footage from the air with exceptional performance. The retractable landing gear and 360-degree rotating camera gimbal mount provide unobstructed views to capture the perfect shot every time. Featuring our patent-pending HovercoreTM flight technology, the ERISTA cinema package includes everything you need to film with the most demanding cameras in a multi-rotor system – for true professional film production.”
The product is currently undergoing its first test at the Golf Channel at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Bay Hill (USA), so while it might be an unconventional way to show golf, it could be one of the most effective, although the noise of helicopter-style blades spinning could be an issue for the players that would be used to silence when it comes to lining up their shot. To give golf fans an example of what might be to come, a video of a camera-less Erista copter being tested can be seen below: