Choosing an Autotracking camera for your classroom

Lecture capture systems have become an integral part of online learning for educational organizations around the world. Over the years, lecture captures systems have advanced to include integrations with learning management systems (LMS) which automate much of the online video delivery process. As it becomes more common to have lectures made available online for students to review, AV and IT managers continue to look for ways to consistently produce high-quality lecture recordings in a manageable way. 

One prime example of lecture capture automation is the integration of hardware lecture capture solutions such as the Epiphan Pearl. The Epiphan Pearl is a lecture capture device that is able to capture audio and video and send it directly to lecture capture systems such as Panopto, Kaltura, and Yuja. This type of integration allows educators to focus on their instructions and trust that the automated system will have their lecturers delivered into the LMS system the students use on a daily basis. 

The Epiphan Pearl is just one of many lecture capture systems which can take video from sources such as an instructor’s laptop, a document camera, and even an auto-tracking camera. In many cases, it’s ideal to have an auto-tracking camera connected to the lecture capture system in order to provide a fully automated system. Auto-tracking cameras such as the SimplTrack Lite are able to be managed remotely on the network and set up for continual use without a camera operator. 

When you are setting up an auto-tracking camera in a classroom you should consider some of the auto-tracking system features which can be used to ensure flawless operation. For example, using the SimplTrack Lite you can set up a custom preset you would like to use to frame your subject. This is ideal for keeping a whiteboard in view at all times even as the camera tracks the presenter left and right during a lecture. Another feature that is great in a classroom setting is called blocking zones. The SimplTrack 2 has a feature that allows you to block certain areas in a classroom from being tracked such as a doorway or a large window. 

When you are choosing a PTZ camera with auto-tracking capabilities one of the most important features to look for is built-in tracking. Some PTZ cameras can now gain auto-tracking capabilities with the addition of software. For example, the PTZOptics Camera Management Platform (CMP) is capable of adding auto-tracking capabilities to any PTZOptics camera. While this is an awesome feature, it could be cumbersome to deploy in an educational setting because a computer would need to run the software for each classroom. Instead, many organizations look for auto-tracking cameras that have built-in auto-tracking capabilities which do not require additional computers and software running to work. 

If you are interested in setting up a live demonstration of the SimplTrack cameras you can email [email protected].