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Quidich Innovation Labs flies high with drone-based AR

Mumbai-based Quidich Innovation Labs is no stranger to getting the first-mover advantage. Although augmented reality (AR) is only just emerging as a preferred storytelling tool for live production, Quidich already has a drone-based AR production solution to service clients across sports and entertainment, such as the Indian Premier League.

Identifying the market opportunity

“When we started Quidich, drone technology was relatively nascent and a rare commodity in India, with most aerial cinematography captured via helicopter. We saw an opportunity to use this technology to make live production from the sky much more affordable and efficient, and got down to business, developing drone systems to capture aerial footage of cities, arenas, stadiums and more,” shared Rahat Kulshreshtha, Founder and CEO, Quidich.

“Then AR technology emerged onto the scene, which we knew could add a whole new dimension to live production, and we saw our next big evolution.” 

Stories told in real time

Spatio, Quidich’s drone-based AR production solution, allows production teams to build graphics for live broadcast that can interact with the drone cameras in flight. The aerial footage, captured in 1080i full HD, is sent to a base station on the ground and then to a studio.

There, the video footage is uploaded to three workstations using AJA KONA 4 video and audio I/O cards, then fed through a Vizrt graphics system. This allows the Quidich team to enhance storytelling with AR effects in real-time.

The final output is sent to the control room and then distributed to audiences across the globe. The AJA Software Development Kit (SDK) allows Spatio to integrate the output into its real-time workflow while the AJA GEN10 HD/SD sync generator ensures that all of the video signals can be genlocked. 

Always reliable

Consistency is essential to all of Quidich’s productions, which can be challenging when multiple matches are covered simultaneously.

“We’re often deploying multiple kit at the same time and pride ourselves in ensuring a quality standard,” said Kulshreshtha.

“Our AJA gear has a large role to play in that; we can always count on it to keep our systems running smoothly and our production quality consistent even when working with different teams across wide-ranging geographies.”

“On top of these advantages, the AJA SDK is accessible and intuitive, which makes our day-to-day much easier, plus AJA’s support team is extremely reliable. They’re responsive and quick to resolve any issues in a timely fashion, and there’s nothing more valuable than that in the live production business,” he added. 

Quidich plans to continue investing in AJA technology in 2021. The company plans to up the level of quality of content it can deliver for clients with HDR production supported by an AJA FS-HDR real-time HDR/WCG converter.

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