Behind the Lens

An Inside Look at Hudl Focus

The bat­tery died.

Someone for­got the iPad.

No one volunteered.

The stu­dent who did vol­un­teer had some teen dra­ma (that’s caught on audio) and missed three of the most impor­tant plays. 

There are a lot of bar­ri­ers when it comes to cap­tur­ing com­plete, qual­i­ty video. There’s a way to get bet­ter game film with­out the cam­era­man — so you can focus on coach­ing, not logistics.

Hudl Focus was built to help teams win by tak­ing out all the pain of get­ting video into their library,” Jeff Clark, prod­uct man­ag­er said. It was designed specif­i­cal­ly to inte­grate with Hudl.”

Meet your new MVP.

It’s game time at Harvard-Westlake, and there’s no par­ent, stu­dent man­ag­er, JV play­er or injured team mem­ber on the side­lines with a phone, tablet or cam­era. But that doesn’t mean the game’s not being recorded. 

Installed 20-plus feet above the action is Hudl Focus. 

Based on the vol­ley­ball match sched­ule entered into Hudl, the cam­era turns on and begins record­ing just before the first serve. The intel­li­gent cam­era sys­tem cap­tures an HD angle of the entire court. 

In terms of the over­all instal­la­tion of the mount and cam­era, I don’t think you can make that part any more sim­ple,” Matt LaCour, Harvard-Westlake ath­let­ic direc­tor said. This is going to make our coach­es’ lives eas­i­er, which is great.”

The camera’s sen­sors pan and zoom to keep up with the on-court action. It knows what a vol­ley­ball or bas­ket­ball looks like and can dis­tin­guish between play­ers and fans, so it nev­er miss­es a sec­ond of the action.

High-qual­i­ty footage from Hudl Focus as it fol­lows the action dur­ing a bas­ket­ball game.

Designer Josef Lang spent all of 2018 work­ing on the camera’s look, form and feel.

We often ask, does this team have Hudl?’ What if we can change the ques­tion to does this gym have Hudl?’ and lev­el up all our teams where it all starts: with con­sis­tent, high-qual­i­ty video,” Lang said. Let’s make it hap­pen auto­mat­i­cal­ly. While we’re at it, let’s make it afford­able. It’s been a mas­sive effort on an incred­i­bly con­densed time­line, but our coach­es’ and teams’ respons­es to the prod­uct have made it all worth it.”

Count on it.

After the game, the Focus cam­era will upload the video to Harvard-Westlake’s Hudl account and turn off. But dur­ing this par­tic­u­lar game, Harvard-Westlake’s inter­net con­nec­tion is down — and stays that way for anoth­er 12 hours. Though Focus needs a work­ing con­nec­tion to upload, it doesn’t need one to record. When the connection’s back online, the cam­era turns on and auto­mat­i­cal­ly uploads the video.

Focus is reli­able inside and out — the hard­ware has been dropped on con­crete from five feet up to test its durability.

We knew it would be the tar­get of 15 year-old-boys with bas­ket­balls,” Clark said. We’re con­fi­dent it works when it gets hit a lot.”

Focus cam­era sys­tems are leased to schools on an annu­al basis. The cam­era reports vital data about its soft­ware and per­for­mance for Hudl’s sup­port team to trou­bleshoot before it affects an ath­let­ic direc­tor, coach or team.

Become a Focus gym.

More than 1,600 high schools across the coun­try upgrad­ed their record­ing work­flow last season.

Everyone loves it,” said Kevin Reiman, ath­let­ic direc­tor at Auburn High School. I think my cheer­lead­ing squad wants to start using it now. They do a lot of record­ing. I think the func­tion­al­i­ty of it will just con­tin­ue to explode as we have more and more peo­ple start using it.”

Join the teams film­ing their games and prac­tices hands-free.

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