Canon’s New AMLOS Webcam System Aims to Transform Remote Work

Last week, Canon and The Hollywood Reporter hosted a premiere of the animated short The forest lair which was created through a partnership between Canon and HitRecord, the production company of actor Joseph Gorgon-Levitt. The team took advantage of Canon’s in-development AMLOS remote working system to collaborate with hundreds of people around the world as if they were all in one place.

The AMLOS system – which stands for Activate My Line Of Sight – works with one of four PTZ cameras: the $2,700 CR-N300 with a one-inch CMOS sensor, the $5,400 CR-N500 with 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor, or the $12,000 CR-X300 or $22,000 CR-X500 for outdoor use. It combines this hardware with the PTZ controller to capture and stream multiple viewpoints simultaneously in up to 4K UHD resolution.

The full AMLOS software and hardware system is expected to be available this summer, although final pricing has yet to be revealed.

Considering the cost of the hardware alone, the final asking price is likely beyond the reach of individual creators, but it’s not aimed at this use case anyway. Instead, the technology is more than worth the cost to large enterprises and studios that would benefit the most from remote hybrid workspaces. Larger photo shoots as well as TV and movie sets have obvious advantages where in-person numbers are limited, but full creative teams are needed to run smoothly.

Canon is positioning AMLOS as a way to create a kind of hybrid writers room where Gordon-Levitt – who was working from Los Angeles – partnered with artists Toff Mazery, Edward Jesse and illustrator Natalie Andrewson who were in Las Vegas. The group then hosted the room for hundreds of virtual attendees from around the world.

Over the course of the three-day broadcast, the in-person team brainstormed with hundreds of online contributors located around the world to bring an all-new animated story to life with Canon’s new camera system featured as an element essential for allowing participants to see each other. , the writers’ room, as well as detailed views of the whiteboard and other visuals shown during the meetings.

Hosts of the in-person portion of the meeting can use hand gestures to control the camera, highlighting important visuals whose AMLOS system takes high-resolution 4K images that attendees can focus on to enable greater collaboration despite the remote environment.

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The HitRecord team was particularly interested in this potential new platform because it was able to collaborate in a more direct setting where all participants could communicate in real time to bring a project to life, which they say allows for much faster execution.

“People were just brainstorming,” Gordon-Levitt said when asked about this virtual creation process. “There’s something about the creative process, whether it’s writing, world-building, designing, editing, or music that really benefits from an instant, hassle-free exchange of ideas, it’s something you really want to be in the same room or be able to quickly brainstorm ideas somewhere where everyone can see them at the same time.

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The AMLOS system uses several simple gestures to perform tasks such as ending calls, adjusting and focusing the meeting view, and taking snapshots of important visuals that are digitally enhanced and shared immediately with participants. Canon says the image quality, combined with pan, tilt and zoom capabilities, and excellent autofocus – which standard computer cameras lack – improves the quality of meetings in line.

Gordon-Levitt argues that this setup allows for much more organic collaboration than he was able to achieve from just a standard virtual meeting, and attendees felt more engaged and were more able to freely bounce their ideas around as if they were in the same room.

He said that while attending virtually, he was able to see the sketches and drawings in “very good, clear definition” when the team in person displayed them on the whiteboard or used hand signals for the camera focuses on the drawing while it was held up.

Participants all said that AMLOS’ zoom capability was one of their favorite tools because it helped them use the room much more freely compared to a normal video chat, making it much more fun and smooth for everyone. create with remote teams.

Canon and Hitrecord First short film created with remote teams using AMLOS technology
Photo by David Crewe for PetaPixel

After the past few years of COVID restrictions and protocols, Canon and HitRecord say the new technology looks more impressive because it allows for a much more functional hybrid workspace.

“Creative writers’ rooms are renowned for their brainstorming kinetic energy, so if we could transpose that to the hybrid space, that would be the ultimate hit,” says Kohei Maeda, Canon’s New Business Development Advisor.

Based on comments from Gordon-Levitt and HitRecord, it appears the system did just that. The pandemic has forced people to prove that work can still be done remotely, but it’s gone way beyond that: so many employees around the world have found working from home to be much more fulfilling. than a daily commute. . Canon says AMLOS is able to deliver a more immersive virtual experience that leverages this new remote workforce in a way that makes it unique.

For creatives in particular, there are situations that still have strict protocols in place that limit how many people can be on set at any given time. One of the benefits for film crews is that AMLOS allows full creative teams to be on set from anywhere in the world.

The full short film which was produced using the AMLOS system for remote work can be viewed below.

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