Ncam Mk2 camera suite
Ncam Technologies has released its new Mk2 Camera Bar, Mk2 Server and Ncam Reality 2020 software. Ncam is a leading developer of real-time augmented reality technology for the media and entertainment industries.
First shown last year as a prototype at IBC2019, the Mk2 Camera Bar has undergone significant development and enhancement since; the Ncam R&D team not only further developing the hardware platform, but they also redesigned the accompanying suite of software and added other new features.
The Mk2 Camera Bar itself now not only leverages the Intel RealSense hardware but has also been heavily modified to perfectly suit the most demanding broadcast and film environments. This means it is now smaller, lighter, and able to mount more flexibly to an even greater variety of camera rigs, with the result that it can be used on a jib, Steadicam, wire cam, and even on drones.
“This release marks a huge milestone in the history of Ncam,” says Nic Hatch, Ncam’s CEO. “The close partnerships we have with the likes of Intel, Epic, and others will allow us to leverage further enhancements in both tracking and rendering technologies, as well as our own developments around spatial environment data capture and its reuse in non-live environments.”
Previous generation hardware required an ethernet tether to return tracking data to a server running Ncam Reality software. The next-generation software now runs on the Mk2 Server and can be mounted on the camera or rig itself, meaning all camera tracking and lens data is computed locally. This means Ncam can now offer fully wireless tracking on a standard RF camera link, opening up a bunch of new possibilities for the remote production of AR graphics, as well as freeing up valuable rack space for outside broadcast applications.
The Ncam Reality 2020 software suite has also been redesigned, with key enhancements in several areas, including simplified operation, hybrid feature extraction including natural features, markers and fiducials, wireless-ready functionality with Mk2 hardware, and global performance and stability enhancements. Additionally, the AR Suite software, which in its Lite form comes bundled as standard, provides seamless and future-proofed integration into the latest Unreal Engine 4 toolset, providing a complete out-of-the-box solution for high fidelity real-time VFX.
Other improvements introduced with the Mk2 include Faster and more accurate setup and calibration which has been further enhanced by the release of a wizard-driven, role-based UI, reducing the requirement for specialist operators; further enhancements to its industry-leading accuracy, with the ability to track non-natural features with no requirement to ‘learn’ any marker patterns; increased ruggedisation with witness lenses now mounted internally; a vastly simplified product offering and pricing model, including options to purchase outright or license via an annual subscription.