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The Center of Vision

Press Release
For Immediate Release

190 Loantaka Way
Madison NJ   07940-1910

Date   November 22, 1999
Contact   Michael Bianchi
Voice and Fax   +1 973 822-2085
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Foveal Systems Sells The AutoAuditorium System

Foveal Systems, LLC, announced that it is now selling the AutoAuditoriumTM System, the fully automatic, multi-camera system that produces videos of auditorium presentations without an operator.  "After ten years of research, development and refinement, we are now making this technology available," said the inventor and Foveal Systems owner, Michael Bianchi. 

The AutoAuditorium System captures on video presentations made in a large meeting room, such as a lecture hall or auditorium.  "It is ideal for any formal presentation where a person stands on a stage, giving a talk to a group, using projected visual aids," said Bianchi.  "And since operating the system takes only two steps, namely turning on the power and pressing the RECORD button, it can be used by anyone.  Once started, no human control is possible until it is time to turn it off.  None the less, the AutoAuditorium system produces a very watchable video of the talk.  It tracks the speaker, shows the slides, and produces combination and picture-in-picture shots as appropriate in real time.  The program can be telecast live, and recordings can be viewed immediately, because there is no post production." 

The system is designed to be unobtrusive to the presenter, the local audience, and the remote audiences.  For instance, presenters do not have to wear or carry anything for the AutoAuditorium Tracking Camera to follow them as each speaks on stage.  "As each individual comes onto the stage, the Tracking Camera uses motion analysis to find and follow him or her.  So, unlike some other tracking cameras, there is no target to wear, no control to carry, and no target identification step to perform," according to Bianchi.  "And even if the first speaker leaves on the left side of the stage and the second one arrives on the right, the Tracking Camera will quickly find and follow that second person." 

A typical AutoAuditorium System is installed with four cameras:

The AutoAuditorium Director software decides which shots to show.  "If the projection screen is blank, then obviously you want to see only the person on stage," explained Bianchi.  "But as soon as the slide is shown, you want to see it.  The Director, quickly and automatically, switches to the Slide Camera, so you can read it.  After a while, a combination shot of both the person and the slide is shown, so you can see the presenter's gestures along with their projected visuals." 

The audio is also automatically mixed, so audience questions and reactions are included, again without any human control.  "In fact," said Bianchi, "in some installations we can cover both the stage and the audience using ceiling microphones.  The result is a system that is not only unobtrusive, but battery-free.  If there are no battery operated devices, then they cannot be lost or dead, and we've eliminated a common failure mode." 

The AutoAuditorium System is permanently installed in the room so it is always ready.  "It really can be used on a moment's notice," said Bianchi, "which means the system is used often.  How often have you heard `I wish they recorded that?' With AutoAuditorium Systems you can record every talk and decide which ones to keep." 

Foveal Systems sells AutoAuditorium Systems through established audio/video installation companies.  "Foveal is looking for AV companies that have an established track record exceeding customer's expectations."  Bianchi added, "Most of the components of an AutoAuditorium system are things they already install in video-production-ready meeting rooms.  The AutoAuditorium System replaces the manual operator's controls with sophisticated automation.  And once the installation is aligned, there is very little periodic maintenance; just cleaning the lenses and the air filter on the controller." 

Where does the name FOVEAL come from?
The fovea is the most sensitive part of the eye, where we see with the greatest clarity.  
Foveal Systems' products are based on computer vision technology, so . . .  

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