In Part 1 of this series on creating hybrid experiences with Glass-to-Glass (G2G) solutions, I delved into the technology’s potential to enhance audience reach, return on investment, profitability, efficiency, and marketing impact.
Beyond these benefits, G2G solutions also allow businesses to embrace IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access), extending participation globally. G2G has prompted a wave of personalized attractions, opening avenues for novel revenue streams such as pay-per-view, subscriptions, advertising, and sponsorships.
The current surge in demand calls for a unified IP-based system, integrating cameras, switchers, and projectors from a common manufacturer. This holistic approach, facilitated by a single tech partner, aims to refine workflows, curbing labor, installation, and operating expenses.
However, due to the pace of technological evolution and the novelty of the technology, operators are often left to grapple with a myriad of choices, platforms, and functionalities. In Part 2, I’ll highlight the system’s components—from cameras and switchers to projection endpoints—that pave the way to greater accessibility. I will also touch on the new applications that G2G technology makes possible.
PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) cameras, exemplified by the AW-UE160, have become integral to capturing high-quality footage from diverse angles. With applications ranging from sports events to concerts, eSports, dark rides, and beyond, these cameras offer flexibility and high-resolution capabilities.
As seen in the swimming events of Tokyo 2020, PTZ cameras provide footage from previously impossible angles to immerse audiences in the action. They can be set up to capture a fixed area, track motion via a remote operator, or be used with sensors to track subjects automatically. They’re ideal for live events since they are unobtrusive, with no need for a human operator behind the lens. Products like the AW-UE160 are among the first to support SMPTE ST 2110 via a licensed software option.
IT/IP Platform KAIROS
KAIROS, an all-on-one software-based IT/IP platform, emerges as a game-changer by consolidating the functionalities of switchers, processors, and encoders into a single device. KAIROS simplifies and even automates live production, reducing complexity, labor, and costs. Its real-time editing, processing, mixing, and distribution capabilities and remote operation contribute to an efficient workflow.
For delivering stunning visuals at scale, laser projection is the go-to option. The RQ25K, among the world's smallest 20,000 lm 3-Chip DLP projectors, offers 4K resolution and compatibility with the Intel SDM standard, ensuring adaptable and scalable connectivity to suit the most sophisticated production systems. Meanwhile, the REQ15 4K projector provides a lighter, smaller, yet powerful 1-Chip DLP solution. These projectors ensure sustainable efficiency without compromising image quality, addressing the challenges associated with lamp-based projectors.
Current Trends in G2G
In the realm of G2G, the game industry surpasses the combined revenue of film and music annually. The popularity of eSports events is evident, drawing millions of fans to both in-person and online tournaments. These events boast high production values, with giant screens and video walls showcasing high-resolution action simulcasts.
Emerging from the streaming era, these events inspire the industry with their fast-paced editing, dynamic camera angles, and depth of immersion. PTZ cameras also work with graphics engines for live XR shooting without a tracker, reducing system complexity and potentially lowering production costs.
The G2G revolution is finding expression in a myriad of real-world applications, shaping diverse experiences across various sectors. Let’s fly over some examples in use around the world today.
eSports tournaments: Swedish company Best Broadcast Hire broadcasts some of the biggest eSports events around the world, including FIFA eSuperliga, the StarLadder MAJOR tournament, and the BLAST Pro Series. Image quality and flexibility are prerequisites for sharing events on-site and online, with the AK-UC4000 camera designed to limit unwanted moiré screen patterns on the LED screens.
Digital museums: Frameless, the UK’s largest digital immersive art experience, leverages G2G solutions with over 50 projectors to elevate traditional art encounters. The RQ35K projector, selected for its image quality when captured with a camera, contributes to a visually stunning display.
Live concerts: PTZ cameras capture and stream live footage of concerts, exemplified by their use in Ed Sheeran's Global Mathematics world tour. The remote-controlled cameras offer versatility in capturing dynamic performances, expanding the reach of concerts through streaming platforms.
Fashion shows: The recent Lanvin Collection show incorporated Panasonic G2G to create captivating backdrops for online runway shows. The fusion of technology enhances the virtual fashion experience, making it accessible to anyone, anywhere.
Digital festivals: MUTEK’s electronic music and digital art festival embraces G2G production, featuring PTZ cameras and projection to showcase the event’s immersive content. PTZ cameras, used alongside the Panasonic RQ22K 4K projector, contribute to a seamless G2G solution that brings the festival’s electronic vibes to a global audience.
Projection mapping: MINUTE_MAPP TOKYO 2021, an international mapping event, showcased the versatility of G2G solutions. Streaming online due to limited in-person attendance during the pandemic, the event projected 60-second creations from artists worldwide onto a mannequin. Captured by PTZ cameras, this high-fidelity presentation ensured that the intricate details of each piece were faithfully reproduced, underscoring the potential of G2G in elevating virtual events.
Conferences: TEDxCambridge, one of the longest-running TED events globally, celebrated its 10th anniversary in grandeur. Staged at the Citizens Bank Opera House in Boston, the event was marked by a 4K experience facilitated by Panasonic Connect’s G2G solution. The presentation achieved a visually rich spectacle by relying on RQ22K projectors, VariCam 4K camcorders, and AW-UE150 PTZ cameras. The synchronized color-matching of cameras contributed to a cohesive look and feel, showcasing the potential of G2G in the realm of conferences and high-profile presentations.
Sports: The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 marked a historic milestone as the first to be simulcast in 4K. G2G solutions, including cameras, projectors, and video switchers from Panasonic Connect, played a vital production support role. Panasonic Connect demonstrated the robustness of its professional cameras and the IT/IP platform KAIROS in the context of large-scale sporting events.
Charting a Course
As technology continues its rapid evolution, with XR, AI, the metaverse, and 5G networks taking center stage, the future holds the promise of virtual streamed experiences coexisting with their real-life counterparts. G2G-enabled rides, games, and attractions stand as an open frontier for designers, offering significant potential for personalized experiences where digital avatars navigate interactive worlds created by advanced projectors.
Panasonic Connect emphasizes its role beyond equipment suppliers. Dedicated to the success of its partners, the company invites leaders to explore the array of services offered, from ideation to ongoing operations and maintenance. For those intrigued by the G2G solutions discussed in this article or any other offerings, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chad Kunimoto is the Global Business Development Manager for Themed Entertainment and Immersive Experiences at Panasonic Connect.