INTRODUCING VICON’S NEWEST FAMILY MEMBER TO THE MOTION CAPTURE COMMUNITY
2021 marked yet another milestone in the Vicon story — the acquisition of CONTEMPLAS, bringing video-based movement analysis to the Vicon ecosystem. The move strengthened Vicon’s core offering, extending market reach into Europe and opening up new possibilities and applications, such as swimming, thanks to markerless tracking.
CONTEMPLAS began life with a vision that runs parallel to that of Vicon, albeit with a slightly different target market. “The company was founded in 2005, by Thomas Seeholzer and myself,” explains Stefan Klippel, Managing Director of CONTEMPLAS.
“The idea was to develop a piece of software that would provide a solution for applications such as running analysis, functional screening, posture analysis, gait analysis, bike fitting, and more. The market was users with limited time for the analysis and as such, needed software that guided them straight through the process,” Klippel says.
Users in CONTEMPLAS’s early days might have been gait analysts at a running store or a physiotherapist needing to do a quick analysis of a client’s posture. More often than not, they had a business use for the software and needed a clear picture of what they could charge for it and how it would fit into their daily operations.
A FLEXIBLE SOLUTION
The result was TEMPLO. The software records and analyzes motion across a range of activities ranging from team sports, individual sports to swimming and beyond. It doesn’t require specialist hardware and can run using a wide range of cameras.
“We have a very strong expertise in video analysis and video technology itself,” explains Klippel. “We can integrate with almost any kind of camera you find on the market, including those with either high resolution, high frame rate, or both; and record as many cameras as possible, with the emphasis on live streaming, live playback and delayed playback and delayed recording.
“In addition, alongside the camera data we can record third-party systems such as force plates, EMG, pressure plates — any analog or digital devices synchronized to the video cameras. So we see TEMPLO as a platform for gathering data and streamlining it towards an application-based protocol.”
CONTEMPLAS has a strong presence in the sports and health markets, working with almost 4,000 partners/customers across 35 countries, but the applications of its software go beyond that. CONTEMPLAS technology has also been used to analyze motion in challenging environments, tracking subjects such as lizards, underwater robots and astronauts, and its new partnership with Vicon will extend that reach even further.
JOINING THE VICON COMMUNITY
“I always saw Vicon as being the company that provides the gold standard of motion analysis,” says Klippel. He adds that he has always admired Vicon’s community-driven culture, appreciating the way it encompasses the company’s wide user base as well as its own staff.
Klippel says that the move will extend CONTEMPLAS’s reach and accelerate its growth, while allowing the company to enhance its technology and offer a wider array of solutions to its existing customer base.
Similarly, Klippel says that CONTEMPLAS will enable Vicon to serve customers with needs that are different from those of its existing base. “We will be able to extend the company’s reach to completely new markets such as sports performance testing, coaching for individual/team sports, such as swimming. There’s a huge variety of applications in practical analysis in addition to the more research-focused Vicon customer base.
“I think CONTEMPLAS contributes a lot, with applications for customers who don’t have the time or money for an optical system or, on the other hand, are simply not able to put sensors on subjects because they’re in a live competition or in a prohibitive environment,” says Klippel.
Adding an in-house 2D markerless solution to Vicon’s optical and inertial offerings will also enable customers to explore this exciting new branch of motion capture from within the ecosystem they already know and trust.
Joining Vicon is already paying dividends for CONTEMPLAS. “Already in the last two months, I’m seeing CONTEMPLAS’s growth accelerate in every direction,” says Klippel. “Every employee is really happy with the solution and sees that there is a huge potential. They’re highly motivated to push that forward in every division, be that development, support or marketing.”
With the resources of Vicon behind CONTEMPLAS, Klippel anticipates a rapid expansion into new markets that were out of reach before the acquisition.
“This growth is all possible thanks to Vicon’s support,” he says. “Working together, we’ve created a new business plan for the next four years that will definitely lead to more revenue, a wider audience and presence in the market, and an even stronger product line.”