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    The Next Level in High Speed Tracking: eneo IP Cameras on Skimovie Slopes by Skiline

    eneo continues to prove its outstanding solution expertise with project-based, custom-made products and product adaptations. One of these projects is the Skimovie slope by Skiline: eneo pan and tilt systems and IP cameras were specifically adapted to the company's demanding requirements.

    Skiline provides the best entertainment on the slopes and great vacation memories, including in the form of digital video clips. Modern video cameras situated along the Skiline Skimovie system film guests as they zip down the slopes. Thanks to automated tracking, the cameras don't lose focus on the skiers for a second. This creates a completely personalized video clip that lets you relive an authentic vacation feeling long after your trip is over and lets amateur athletes share this experience with their friends and on social media.

    Demanding Requirements

    One thing is clear: in an environment like this, every detail counts. That means the technical requirements placed on the electronics used in tracking, and the video cameras themselves, are truly demanding. The first requirement is that the system can track cameras in the Skimovie applications quickly and cleanly so as to record the entire run seamlessly. Second, guests place a high premium on high-quality recordings. The main features they're looking for are high color accuracy, strong contrasts, and extremely high-definition images. Cameras have to allow for fine, infinitely variable controlling of zoom and focus and have a high dynamic range to fulfill these requirements. Last but not least, the technology also has to function perfectly over the long-term and even in highly adverse weather conditions and very difficult lighting situations, which tend to be the rule rather than the exception in the mountains.

    Demo video (Zermatt/Matterhorn Paradise): The eneo IP camera starts at second 18 (3rd sequence). The image quality speaks for itself.

    Mountain Tested:

    eneo products have been proving themselves on Skiline Skimovie slopes & Bikemovie systems for quite some time. Our cameras have been offering high-speed tracking with eneo type VPT pan and tilt systems for many years. They stand out for their infinite swivel range, covered cable guides, and a rotating speed of up to 100° per second. The dynamic tracking range extends from highly “aggressive” to slow, which requires a continuous exchange of data with a central computer on the current and target positions for the two pan and tilt axes within milliseconds. To ensure high performance capabilities, the VPT RS-485 control signals are translated into IP signals by a media converter, and transmitted to the central computer independently of the video stream.

    Customized Solution

    The next logical step to improve performance of the Skimovie system was to use a modified high-powered eneo IP camera specially designed for Skimovie applications, which was then combined with a modified eneo pan and tilt system. Specifically, the IPC-52A0030P0A network camera was modified to record the ski videos with a VPT pan and tilt head, then used in a trial at the Zermatt/Matterhorn Paradise and at Nassfeld in the winter of 2016/17. It comes with an autofocus zoom lens with 30 x optical / 16 x digital zoom, and delivers videos in full HD resolution. The maximum frame rate is 60 images per second. Real Time WDR, with 25/30 images per second, is also included in the technical features of the IPC-52A0030P0A, as well as digital image stabilization (DIS) and digital noise suppression (2D-DNR / 3D-DNR). Various video analysis functions are also included. The defog feature is especially suited for use on the slopes: the uncompressed video signal is analyzed pixel by pixel in real time on the camera, then the color, contrast, and focus of the optical signal are retouched. This allows the camera to deliver images with clearly visible objects and people, even in poor weather conditions. The API and camera programming interface were specially adapted to Skiline specifications for use on the slopes in winter and on the mountain bike trail in the summer.

    Succesful Test

    In addition, the control module was specially modified for Skiline so that the autofocus zoom controller activates even more quickly, rapidly focusing the lens. This modified camera was installed in an eno type VHM/ECLKA-210-W (protective class IP66) aluminum weather protective housing, which is equipped standard with internal connection, PTC window heater 100-265V and “Clear-Shield” viewing window. The VPT's pan and tilt controller was increased from 8 Bit to 16 Bit, adapted so that the system can be used to complete thousands of direct positioning maneuvers on horizontal and vertical axes.

    Then Skiline subjected both prototypes to extensive testing and analysis. The camera was checked to ensure it conformed to company specifications and proved its outstanding quality during a one-month test run in our own in-house laboratory and in a field test on the mountain – much to the satisfaction of eneo product developers and Skiline project managers. Starting in the 2017/18 season, all new Skimovie systems will be delivered with eneo cameras, and an upgrade package will be offered for existing installations.