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TORONTO - The new more compact BTBeacon for CAST Group's BlackTrax 6D tracking system has earned a Certificate of Conformity from the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and exceeded the rigorous standards required to display the CE Mark. Subsequently, the BlackTrax Solution Version 1 is in full production and the first systems are expected to ship within weeks.
More details from CAST Group (http://www.cast-soft.com/blacktrax):
TORONTO – The new smaller, more powerful BTBeacon for CAST Group's BlackTrax 6D tracking system has earned a Certificate of Conformity by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and exceeded the rigorous standards required to display the CE Mark. Subsequently, the BlackTrax Solution Version 1 is in full production and the first systems are expected to ship within weeks.
While a fully-functional prototype of BlackTrax won both IABM (International Association of Broadcasting Manufacturers) Game-Changer and PLASA Gold Innovation Awards, the market-ready version of the system is even more advanced, thanks to some ingenious tweaks made to the revolutionary BTBeacon. CAST engineers have reduced the BTBeacon’s thickness by about 50 per cent, making it smaller than an iPhone and less intrusive than a microphone belt-pack, yet much more powerful, meaning that the BTSolution has expanded beyond a standard theatre application to realtime tracking on large stages, performance areas, ice rinks or arenas.
“For the past year or so we have demonstrated prototypes of the BTBeacon to the amazement, indeed excitement, of the people around the world who checked it out. You used words like: 'unbelievable' and 'out of this world',” recalls Gil Densham, president of CAST Group.
“So, if you thought the beta version was compact and advanced, let me amaze you: the FCC & CE-Certified BTBeacon, which is now about half the thickness of the prototype or a pack of cigarettes, can be now tracked in a diameter of up to 160 ft (50m) in your space – a four-fold increase – and runs about eight hours (up by around 25 per cent) between charges, which will take just over two hours in the new BTBeacon Docking Station. Certification of the BTBeacon was the final step on the hardware side; BlackTrax Version 1 is now complete."
In meeting FCC and CE standards, the BTBeacon passed performance and quality assurance tests, conducted by an independent lab, used to determine if it complies with strict US and European directives for consumer protection. The FCC's Telecommunication Certification Body requires that 'intentional transmitters' must be certified free from harmful RF emissions before a Certificate of Conformity can be awarded. CAST report sthat the BTBeacon met the FCC’s stringent criteria.
Similarly, the CE Marking (an acronym for the French "Conformité Européenne") certifies a product has met EU health, safety and environmental requirements that ensure consumer safety. Manufacturers outside the European Union must meet CE Marking requirements where applicable in order to market their products in Europe.
CAST Group Chairman Bruce Freeman says, “Taking input from customers, we tweaked the BTBeacon for huge ergonomic and technology gains, filed a patent, earned FCC & CE Certification, and have put it immediately into production. This means we can deliver our BlackTrax Solution anywhere in the world – and we expect to start doing just that within a few weeks.”
BlackTrax is a tracking technology solution that delivers precise 3-D and 6-D positioning to controllers for the downstream interfacing automated/robotic technologies used extensively in entertainment production. Using proprietary IR and RF, it delivers dynamic streaming positional data with six degrees of freedom (x, y, z, plus roll, pitch & yaw) to 3-D and spatial audio, automated lighting, multimedia servers and robotic cameras – all at the same time and in realtime.
Anything tagged with the flip-phone-sized BTBeacon, which carries an IR LED, gyroscope, accelerometer, and tiny wireless radio, is tracked at more than 120 frames per second by overhead BTCams, while its orientation is communicated by RF directly to the BTServer. Should the IR line of sight become momentarily obstructed, the BTBeacon’s onboard inertia measurement unit (IMU) provides double-redundant 3-D positioning via its tiny radio transmitter.
BlackTrax is offered as a complete 'tracking solution,' which means either CAST or a BTExpert will ensure it is properly designed and installed, before providing onsite training and ongoing support. The BTBeacon v1 black cases are available in either plastic or light metal alloy, and the 'stringer,' which connects the IR LED with the body pack, comes in various lengths.