Inertia Unlimited Revamps Gophercam, X-Mo for NASCAR

Inertia Unlimited is rolling out two upgraded systems for NASCAR coverage this year,  an improved Gophercam and a version of X-Mo that Inertia Unlimited President Jeff Silverman says offers more accurate color reproduction.

“The new camera allows for very accurate and fine matrix controls in a way never possible before,” he says. “Making these cameras match other cameras being used has been difficult, but this system has much finer controls that are similar to how Sony cameras [are adjusted], so that makes it easier to have improved color reproduction.”

The new Gophercam, which has been in the works for more than two years, is ⅛ in. shorter than the previous version.

“Since it is so much shorter, we may be allowed to get into more-aggressive positions that have an improved field of view and location,” Silverman explains. “But it is still switchable between 720p and 1080i, has motorized iris control for each of the four cameras in the track, and runs on the fiber network.”

The biggest advance, however, is that the Gophercam has made the move to widescreen, courtesy of a new custom-built lens that has a 64-degree viewing angle as opposed to only 22 degrees on the previous version. In addition, the new lens system allows the image to be square with the track surface.

“There is no lens like this just lying around,” Silverman adds. “It is a true, purpose-built HD lens.”

Inertia Unlimited also has an X-Mo system in the Fox Sports Super Zoom system that outputs a stream of complete sensor data, providing 2K images for a system that allows Fox Sports to zero in on points of interest without degrading the image to below HD quality.

What’s next for Inertia Unlimited? Silverman says the new X-Mo camera is just an intermediate step that he hopes will end in eight-10 months.

“My goal is to make every camera a high-speed camera,” he adds. “This next camera is a big step in that direction.”