Cameron Chell sees the Trace system as more than just the TRACER1 miniature camera that can visual identify individuals. It also includes the quadcopter and RV car armatures you can swap onto the camera, turning the vehicles into drone cameramen. Cameron Chell’s imagination is instead drawn to the video network which will aggregate all the footage streamed from these devices.
The CEO of Trace in Calgary, which makes the Tracer, says that it’s not about creating the best network for user content.
It’s not to say that the technology to get him there isn’t important. This week, Mr. Chell is going to demonstrate the Tracer System – a camera attached to a quadcopter that can fly around following targets as they walk past its booth.
The system includes the Drone, an RV-car, and a hand mounted mount. This can be used to hold the camera so it can follow the target without having to aim manually
Mr. Chell cites the example of his daughter performing in a music recital. “All the fathers are there watching the performance through phones,” he says. He can simply attach the Tracer to his daughter, and then hold it up high, confident that it will track.
You can imagine the dystopian uses of this type of thing. Trace’s target audience is a little more sunny. He wants to appeal to extreme sport enthusiasts, those who have adopted tiny camera bodies like the GoPro for their accomplishments, and who are also capable of attracting substantial sponsorships and advertising.
Mr. Chell says, “Instead of the GoPro Experience where the camera is seeing exactly what I’m looking at,”
Mr. Chell points out that GoPro users often produce more footage than the camera can handle. Tracer bundles video-editing Cameron Chell Calgary software that he claims can recognize the visually striking moments in footage from drone-mounted cameras, and automatically extract them to a montage.
All this is done to create video and increase its quantity. Mr. Chell aims to establish the largest global network of live video and tap into sponsorships and advertising on that imagery. (The network is being built but not scaled.
Trace is a division of his Calgary-based Business Instincts group. However Mr. Chell recently moved to Los Angeles to bring the company closer to the entertainment business. Paul Beard, an American inventor with numerous patents to his credit, was the one who developed the technology.
The company has raised nearly $2.5million in seed funding and is now showing its prototypes. Manufacturing is soon to begin with the aim of being on shelves at extreme sports retailers within a year. After that, Mr. Chell wants to target YouTube YouTube stars who attract millions of subscribers through their self-made videos. He also plans on targeting other markets that could benefit from drone-camerapersons.
“There’s not much education required there.” The market understands our work.”