2018: Reflections on a royal year


As 2018 draws to a close, Target3D co-founder, Ashley Keeler, reflects on the second year of the tech start up.


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“2018 has been such an incredible year for us all here at Target3D. We've had the pleasure of working with tons of new and exciting partners - too many projects to list here, but I wanted to share some highlights...

With the team doubling in size in 2018 - notably with Robert bringing his experience from the AEC sector to join us as Commercial Director, and the arrival of our mocap Resident Engineer (and tech ninja) Petros, as well as new faces in Development and Marketing, it’s certainly been a year of growth.

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The increase in staff has been instrumental in allowing us to provide expertise to our steadily growing client base, but it has meant we had to say goodbye to our much-loved first home, the DETC affiliate shared office in Stratford. We found a great, temporary new home under the railway arches in Bermondsey (close to lots of microbreweries, although not the sole reason we chose it!) which has provided much needed room to spread our wings and we are moving to a larger Shoreditch office in January which will afford us a much larger demo space.

Now bigger than ever, our demo setup grew to a 38 camera system this year, including 4 of the most popular OptiTrack camera ranges, data gloves, 360 cameras and scanners. It’s something co-founder Allan Rankin and I envisaged from the start, so to see it come to fruition has made us mega proud. We've had great feedback from clients who we've helped try out their kit before buying – working out the limitations and benefits first hand and leaving with a solution that truly works for them.

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2018 got off to a flying start with Target3D’s involvement in with the acclaimed immersive tech and theatre production of SOMNAI. Working with the production company, we consulted on the layout, VR elements, the show and the large area tracking system, which culminated in a lucid-dream-like six person walk through experience. Cutting edge stuff and much more to come (keep an eye out for the 2019 War of the Worlds show!).

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The entertainment industry has long been an early adopter of emerging tech so we were delighted to be invited to be involved in a pre-vis project at Pinewood Studios – we hope to be able to reveal more next year - involving a ground-breaking hybrid of optical and inertial tracking. We also got a chance to be part of some awesome art projects from Vogue shoots through to music videos thanks to working with Tom Andrew.

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Strong enthusiasm from the education sector for robotics continued in 2018 and resulted in our team undertaking ambitious installs and training at Kingston, Leeds, Liverpool and Cambridge universities – places where emerging technology is assisting in developments in biomechanics, life sciences and animation, and at The University of Derby where our team installed a 3-walled projection cage with the Department of Engineering.

Target3D was launched two years ago from a love of tech so I can’t reflect on the year without a nod to some of the newest products we've seen. We’ve excitedly added a leading-edge computer vision-based markerless capture system, The Captury; plus the industry disruptive and award-winning Noitom’s Perception Neuron Pro; the Instapro 8k and Live Planet streaming platform 360 cameras.

On a more human level, we've tried to give a little back and are now proud sponsors of a London-based cycling team and amateur football team.

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It wasn’t too hard to think of the highlight of the year for this blog. It was a Royal occasion and will take some beating next year! Rob and Petros had the honour of showcasing Motion Capture to HRH The Duke of Cambridge at the launch of PROTO: The Immersive Technology Centre in Gateshead in September. It’s not every day you get to show a Prime 17W optical tracking system to the future King and demonstrate its ability to track body movements and control an avatar!

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On top of that, 2018 was the year I tied the knot to my beautiful wife, so it’s definitely been a year to remember.

As with all new businesses, there have been some tight moments and some stressful decisions, but I’m looking forward to 2019 and we’re ready to meet some new challenges…”

Speak to Ashley and the team to find out how motion capture can help your project come alive in 2019 here.

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