We've taken you behind the scenes in this blog series, hearing from the product team members who are working tirelessly to bring Focus Flex to life. Now, we’re following up with Paul Bauer on what has changed since we last checked in with him on why this portable camera was necessary for our users.

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The Beta Process

In February, we began beta testing Focus Flex with a number of select clubs. Why? To continue to improve our portable camera solution through rounds of feedback. As we approach the six month mark of our beta testing, we’d like to share some of the notable breakthroughs our team’s made from the feedback we’ve received.

With Focus Flex, beta users can now:

  • See camera battery and connection status right from the Focus app
  • Experiment with a live preview of the recording
  • Easily upload games with a Wi-Fi connection and check progress from the Focus app

This fall, our beta users can look forward to new livestreaming features, quicker setup times with fewer calibration steps, and more plays captured with improved video performance. And we’ll continue to make updates every few weeks throughout the fall season.

We got to this stage because of all the clubs who’ve tirelessly given us feedback, in more ways than one.

“Feedback comes in a lot of different formats: interviews, surveys, support requests, and feedback sent directly to the team's Hudl contact, which is passed onto the product team,” said Bauer. “At the end of the day, the simplest and best feedback is a club that simply decides they want to keep using the beta camera week after week.” 

Take the live feature preview. During the beta research phase of our process, many users requested that a live preview be displayed after calibration in order to feel confident in recording, and actually confirm that Focus Flex is, in fact, recording. Our hardware team immediately went to work, with three live preview prototypes for users to try. While not every feature is one that’ll be included in the final product, experimenting gives us new perspectives on what users may be struggling with.

But even those who haven’t participated in the beta have also been able to help. We’ve given our Focus Flex waitlist subscribers a poll question in the email we send every month. These questions range from asking about temperatures during games to whether they’ll want a tripod included in their Focus Flex package. These answers have been invaluable in helping us hone in on exactly what coaches needed to enhance their film experience. 

Calibration: From 24 Hours to Five Minutes

Thanks to the portable infrastructure of Focus Flex, there’s no need for wired internet or a power connection. But because of this portability, Focus Flex requires calibration before every recording instead of a one-time calibration during the initial installation, like Focus Indoor and Outdoor. In order to maintain the convenience of a portable camera, the product team knew they had to decrease the amount of time it takes for the Focus Flex camera to calibrate. 

“Ultimately, it means the camera will be used for every game. You won't miss any action and video will look great on Hudl after it's uploaded. Because we calibrate before the game, that video is available on Hudl as soon as the upload completes—no waiting for video processing.” Paul Bauer

Focus Flex is currently at an average three-minute calibration time, with five minutes being the maximum amount of time you’ll have to wait before being ready to film. Our goal is to have this process be entirely automated, taking under a minute to complete calibration.

“One of the most recent areas with a breakthrough is our video experience and ability to follow the action,” said Bauer. “Automatically following a live soccer match is a big challenge. We've been working on this for some time and are starting to see it improve from ‘good’ to ‘great,’ which is exciting for everyone.”

In ensuring that your camera solution calibrates quickly and automatically, Focus Flex will be able to detect where the field is. And that means quality, coachable video that’s readily available on Hudl, with no video processing times.

Want to stay in the know and receive updates on Focus Flex? We send monthly updates to waitlist members. Be sure to sign up and stay ahead of the curve.