Q&A with Track160's co-founder, Dr. Miky Tamir
Tell us about yourself, Co-Founder, Miky Tamir… “I have almost 30 years of experience in computer vision and AI tech. Track160 is the 7th company I’ve founded, the last two being SportVU and Pixellot who are considered industry-changing sports tech companies, leveraging my deep experience in computer vision. Other companies I founded were: Orad, Vumii, Stergen, and Tetavi.”
How did you come up with the idea of Track160? Like always, in the shower…
"We developed unique algorithms that can be considered a breakthrough that is very difficult to match.”
What problem is your product solving? “The in-accessibility of sports analytics capabilities to sports teams who aren’t amongst the top tier with huge budgets. Using AI, we wanted to bring an affordable all-in-one elite-level solution to every club/academy, while also saving them precious time.”
Who are the co-founders/partners? “The two co-founders are Micha Birenboim and myself. Micha has 19 years of experience in computer vision algorithms design and development in startup environments and was the ideal partner to create Track160’s unique AI video analytics capabilities.”
Why did you think you would succeed in an area that has not been tackled by others? “When we started it was clear that many sports analytics companies would love to be able to provide solutions based on simpler camera setups and full automation, even with respect to players identification and ball detection. We felt confident that with the rich background of our co-founders in deep learning computer vision, optical tracking, and sports-tech business development, and thanks to dozens of years of AI-focused research in Israel, we would develop unique algorithms that can be considered a breakthrough that is very difficult to match.”
Track160's fixed camera-set and solution's images
How does your product/service work, and what does it do? “Using a single viewpoint camera and optical tracking methods, we capture the motions of both teams’ players and the trajectory of the ball. We then use unique AI technology and deep learning to automatically identify players throughout the match and detect and tag all match events with no human involvement required. The gathered data (which includes exclusive metrics, fully customizable video clip sets, fitness reports, and a coaching workbench integrating match video with a live 2D tactical board), is made available to every stakeholder in a football club. From head/assistant coaches to analysts and fitness coaches.”
"The manual work our solution requires from stakeholders in football clubs is almost non-existent"
How is your product different than the others offered in the football analytics market? "As of today, there is no other product in the market that supplies teams with fully automated identification, tracking, tagging, analytics, and clips using a single venue installation point. It sounds a bit unreal, but the manual work our solution requires from coaches, analysts, and other stakeholders in football clubs is almost non-existent. With Coach160, event tagging, as well as associated video clips, are done by our engine that also supplies unique tactical insights. Add all that to the simplicity of setting up (Only one camera set, only one installation point) and the affordable price, and you get a true gift for all sub-elite teams that dream of elite-level analytics".
What major obstacles has your company, and you as co-founder, had to overcome? “Our initial challenge was the skepticism that AI can replace the work of a person, tag football match events, and identify the players in the highest accuracy level possible. We overcame that challenge by collaborating and receiving recognition from the most advanced organizations in the football world (FIFA, DFL).
What does success ultimately look like for your company? “From the day we started, we have been on a mission to democratize data analytics in football. Success will come when every kid training and playing in the world will be able to have an equal chance fulfilling his dream to become a footballer because he’ll have access to the most advanced data analytics - Just like a youth player in Manchester United or Bayern Munich’s academies has.”
CEO, Eyal Ben-Ari, speaks about Track160's fully AI-automated solution
Learn more about Track160's fully AI-automated solution here