Whether it’s fitness instruction, education or guided cooking lessons, auto-tracking technology in PTZ cameras is changing the landscape of virtual instruction. In today’s climate, interactive and immersive content is becoming the standard. If your content does not engage viewers within the first few seconds, they will quickly find content that does (even in education). Auto-tracking technology is a simple solution to this dilemma, even for those who are not very tech savvy.
How auto-tracking benefits the instructor
When an instructor of any sort incorporates an auto-tracking PTZ camera, they enable themselves to move around comfortably, as they would in-person. Before we begin to discuss how this is beneficial for keeping the attention of our viewers, let’s first discuss how this is helpful for the instructor. When giving instructions, sometimes it’s easier to show how it’s done when an explanation is going to be too long or too complicated. With a stationary camera, giving active demonstrations can be very challenging or even impossible if what you’re doing requires lots of movement. An auto-tracking PTZ camera on the other hand can automatically pan, tilt and zoom to follow the instructor.
Are you a visual, auditory or hands-on learner?
Providing active demonstrations is crucial for getting the attention of your viewers, but there’s another aspect of it that isn’t discussed very often. Just as there are a number of communication styles or even a plethora of personality traits, everyone has their own style of learning. The main three styles of learning are auditory, visual and hands-on. When an instructor is speaking in front of a laptop camera or webcam, they are only catering to the auditory learners of the group.
Meanwhile, the visual learners and hands-on learners are going to have trouble following along. Of course, the hands-on learners in this situation are out of luck, since the instruction is virtual, but the next best thing for this group of learners is to see the instructor get hands-on with the content they’re teaching.
What types of auto-tracking are available?
Now let’s look at the technical aspects of auto-tracking in PTZ cameras. Most PTZ cameras have two modes of auto-tracking; Presenter Tracking and Zone Tracking. Presenter Tracking tracks its target everywhere without the need to wear any receiving devices. It has strong locking and anti-interference capabilities giving presenters the flexibility to leave the stage and interact with the audience while continuously being tracked. Zone Tracking on the other hand can be set to track a specific area. Using zone tracking can provide a clear, smooth representation of what's being shown behind the presenter such as a whiteboard.
Another option you’ll typically see is facial recognition technology vs. human detection technology. To get straight to the point, the best option in this case would be human detection technology. Auto-tracking algorithms that use facial recognition technology tend to lose sight of the instructor if there is any interference in the shot. This is due to the sensitivity of facial recognition technology. Meanwhile, human detection algorithms are programmed to recognize human forms, making it easier to track and follow a moving person even if there are interferences.
Overall, auto-tracking PTZ cameras are very accessible and generally budget friendly considering the benefits they offer. Implementing an auto-tracking camera is also fairly simple and requires minimal training.