Sponsered by Veo

Foto: Veo

The Success of the Danish Football Camera and its Brain-Child, Veo came down to Timing and 3D Printing

Veo developed a camera that can automatically record and analyze football matches. The innovative product – that has just received an investment of DKK 40 million – would never have come so far without 3D print production

Today, less than 1 per cent of all football games are recorded. Costly television equipment has meant recordings are reserved for internationally-recognized stars and big clubs.

Now, thanks to expanded bandwidth, better wireless coverage, and optimized recording capabilities, the Danish software company, Veo saw a market and an opportunity to capture and profile the many “invisible” football matches. They recognized the value of using the recordings of lower-ranked teams in talent development and analyzing matches and individual players’ performances.

While the vision was clear enough, the solution was anything but straightforward. Veo was keen to use an intelligent digital camera, but – to capture every play – it had to be mounted on a high stand in the sidelines. From this location, the camera could record matches and training, pan 180 degrees, and wirelessly transmit the sequences. Using sophisticated algorithms, the camera would also be able to automatically track the location of the ball and the players’ running patterns.

The 3D-printed camera house from Veo in both raw white SLS and post-treated SLS.

Harnessing the features of software, artificial intelligence, and hardware, the young business was confronted with many challenges. To ensure the hardware components were well executed, Veo focused on accelerating the project’s completion by using 3D printing and tapping into the expertise of the specialists at Damvig. In this way, they could keep the starting costs down and take advantage of the technology’s flexibility and agile nature. According to Henrik Theisbæk, the CEO of Veo: “Damvig was an active sparring partner who understood our vision and contributed constructively throughout the product development phase and its continuous adjustments. They ensured that our time-to-market was short and manageable.”

The importance of effective production

On the one hand, new technologies, production methods, and standard components have made it easier to develop new products. On the other hand, global competition, shorter product cycles, and disruptive technological advances have increased the demands of every company’s time-to-market capabilities. Now, one must continuously innovate to deliver tailored solutions. At the same time, this means that new solutions are becoming increasingly complex.

Even though hardware was just one piece of Veo’s puzzle, Damvig realized just how crucial of a piece it was. According to the company’s CEO, Susanne Damvig:

“It was vital that the camera was cheap, easy to install, and easy to operate via a smartphone. It had to operate easily, without friction, and be waterproof so that it could handle all weather conditions. Without a solid camera body that met the quality requirements, price point, and necessary functionality, Veo’s vision would not have taken off from the ground.” After all, traditional innovation processes, product customization, and market maturation are usually expensive, time-consuming, and risky. This is mainly due to the high start-up costs and lengthy timelines associated with classic product development. In those cases where the prototyping falls off the rails, the cost quickly runs through the roof without having the buffer of expected earnings to cover the shortfall.

Production on demand

Today, more than 300 clubs in Denmark and abroad are using Veo’s innovative product. What’s more, the company recently landed a 40M DKK investment to export the camera to an even greater audience. But Veo is still holding onto its production of 3D printing through Damvig. It gives the business greater flexibility without tying up their capital.

In Theisbæk’s words: “Damvig’s high flexibility and state of the art production equipment ensure stability, quality, and deliveries. We simply send a forecast to Damvig and soon we have exactly the number of camera houses we need to live up to our customer agreements. Thus, we do not invest unnecessary capital in inventory, just as we have not had to invest large sums in start-up costs.”