Middletown, RI, July 26, 2000 – In the very near future, fiber optic gyros (FOGs) from KVH Industries, Inc., (NASDAQ:KVHI) will be playing a role in positioning the yellow first-down line that television viewers see during NFL and college football games. Sportvision, Inc., the leader in sports media technology, has selected KVH’s fiber optic sensors to enhance stabilization of the virtual first-down line that is electronically created and then seemingly painted on the field by Sportvision’s Emmy award-winning 1st & Ten™ system during televised games.
To counteract the effect of stadium vibrations on 1st & Ten’s multiple cameras and maintain accurate positioning of the televised first-down line, the system continually monitors movement and adjusts the line accordingly. Data indicating the direction and degree of camera movement is fed continuously into a Sportvision computer that calculates how the first-down line must be shifted to compensate for the motion. For television viewers, the clearly visible first-down line appears to be stationary on the field, just like the actual white yard lines.
KVH FOGs provide highly precise measurements of camera movement, enhancing the positional accuracy of 1st & Ten computer-generated lines. With three FOGs on every camera documenting movement in each axis, the first-down line that 1st & Ten integrates into its video feed of the field is very precise. Sportvision is integrating the gyros into 1st & Ten systems to be used for ABC, ESPN and FOX football broadcasts this fall.
“In our tests, KVH FOGs consistently provided exceptionally fast and precise measurements of our system’s extremely small camera movements, which must be duplicated to give the appearance that our computer-generated line is actually ‘painted’ on the field,” said Bill Squadron, chief executive officer of Sportvision. “Integrating KVH FOGs with 1st & Ten further enhances our innovative technology, allowing us to match our line ‘shaking’ to the unanticipated stadium shaking that affects our cameras.”
“It is exciting to be working with Sportvision on what is a very visible and entertaining use of our fiber optic technology,” said Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH president and chief executive officer. “This is just one example of the many behind-the-scenes OEM applications we have identified for our highly precise, reliable fiber optic gyros.”
KVH FOGs are highly reliable because they have no moving parts to wear out or require maintenance, and no cross-axis sensitivity to vibration, acceleration or shock. FOGs are true single-axis rate sensors, measuring the angular rotation about an axis perpendicular to a coil of optical fiber. The open-loop configuration consists of a broadband, solid state optical source and KVH’s proprietary E•Core™ optical fiber components.
Sportvision, founded in 1998, develops technology-based enhancements for sports on the Internet, television and new media platforms. The company is headquartered in New York with research and development facilities in California and Kansas.
KVH Industries utilizes its proprietary fiber optic, autocalibration and sensor technologies to produce navigation and mobile satellite communications systems for commercial, military and marine applications. The company has headquarters in Middletown, RI, (USA) with offices in Illinois, Florida and Denmark.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. The actual results realized by the Company could differ materially from the statements made herein. Factors that might cause such differences include, but are not limited to, non-completion of the contract, lack of demand for customer’s products, and the emergence of competing technologies. This release should be read in conjunction with the company’s Annual Report on Form 10K dated March 27, 2000, which is available from the company’s Corporate Communications Department.