Physical Theoreticals

The Viability of Creating Cost-Effective Coaching Video Delay Devices for Sports

In the world of sports, video training has become more commonplace for helping coaches and athletes to elevate themselves to a higher-performing level. As athletes progress to higher levels in their sports, more and more athletes are turning to video recording as a means to amplify their performance levels. Currently, video recording and playback devices available to the sports world are cost-prohibitive to a lot of clubs, athletes, and coaches. This creates a performance-divide, preventing athletes from progressing to their next level of performance and allowing other athletes to progress faster. The research is aimed at finding out whether it is possible to create a competitive solution in the market that is low cost and effective as a training aid. The result of this research is looking to find whether it is financially viable to create and produce a low-cost playback device that helps to close the gaps of a performance-divide.
About the Author
Alex Chan

A former nationally ranked springboard diver who is looking to use MDM to help fellow Canadian divers maximize training efforts.

About the Project

With a user friendly minimal UI, that allows the user to review buffered footage. The interface displays a timeline and has the standard  video controls such as play, pause, rewind, fast forward, skip back, return to set delay time, and record. Upon initial startup, the system opens a dialogue box allowing users to customize the setup. Each setting is selectable with a brief description on what action they are responsible for. The settings include: clip saving location, delay length, saved clip length, total buffer time, resolution, and frame rate.

As athletes and coaches progress through their practice sessions, it is often likely that divers will perform good or excellent dives. Due to the nature of diving, athletes may have plenty of good dives during a practice, or have no good dives. To help coaches sort through saved clips, a rating and sorting system was used. When a clip is saved by the user, it can be renamed and it can be rated on a scale from 1-5 stars. Dives are rated by the following metrics: 1 star as a “good” dive, 2 stars as “great”, 3 stars as “amazing”, 4 stars as “excellent”, and 5 stars as “near perfect”. Labelling the rating system provides context for good dives. Each practice is recorded, allowing coaches to save a recording of good dives or forgo saving clips on poor dives. The rating system lines up almost identically to how judges score a dive based on their technical observations of dive execution. The clip rating system has the added benefit of assisting in sorting clips, allowing for clip searches to yield results based on the rating search criteria. Coaches and athletes can search for clips based on a rating, or search based on other criteria such as name or date and time. 

The device is designed to be used in a pool side environment and is encased in such a way that its environment will not deter its performance. Due to the high humidity of pools, and the wet pool deck environment, the case is designed to be fully waterproof to prevent electrical shortages in the electronic parts inside, as well as prevent corrosion over long periods of time. On the back side, the case is designed to connect to an HDMI cable that has a water tight, screwdown connection. The lateral sides of the case are designed to have USB connectors on either side to allow for either USB cameras to be connected or external storage devices. The front of the device is where the onboard camera is located. The device comes with a Raspberry Pi Camera integrated into the case to reduce the overall physical size of the device. 

Pre-COVID the goal of my project was to develop an efficient and low cost solution to video delay devices for athletes and coaches. In doing so, I aimed to have a device that was waterproof and that worked for presentation purposes. Due to COVID my project changed dramatically, I have turned to conceptualizing what the devices UI would look like as well as looking at what is possible with the technology and where it could go in the future.