Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Stage Precision recreates Super Bowl in live AR world

Silver Spoon deployed SP tracking and controls solution, to recreate the action in an alternate reality from SpongeBob SquarePants

Silver Spoon used Stage Precision, an SP tracking and control solutions, during the 2024 Super Bowl, for live broadcasts. Part of the vision was to bring the Super Bowl to a younger audience with a simulcast on broadcast channel, Nickelodeon. It recreated the action in an alternate reality, from the SpongeBob SquarePants world of Bikini Bottom, with over three hours of live AR coverage.

Alongside the Nickelodeon broadcast, Silver Spoon handled all AR content and operations for both the CBS Studio shows at the Bellagio Fountains, on the Las Vegas Strip, and the game broadcast on CBS, utilising a total of 36 Unreal Engine servers and a 32-person on-site crew. This included AR-enhanced touchdown celebrations and mixed reality scorecard signage across several Las Vegas landmarks.

“We had 15 tracked cameras across three shows,” said Matthew Houstle, director of technology, Silver Spoon. “Bringing SP into the fold was essential for streamlining our operations and ensuring seamless integration across all platforms.”

Key to the management of such a complex project was the development of a unified backend system – a single server infrastructure that could manage the diverse array of cameras and broadcasts, Houstle explained.

“SP allowed us to consolidate our infrastructure into a single server, reducing backups across all shows and unifying our engineering team. Their software not only facilitated camera tracking, but also managed our server failover seamlessly,” he explained.

Axel Lambrecht, co-founder and solutions director, Stage Precision, worked closely with the Silver Spoon team to realise the project’s vision.

Running all camera tracking data through the unified backend of SP allowed Silver Spoon to craft an innovative server failover system, that not only gave greater visibility of the whole workflow, but also saved on costs. “Without SP, every render engine for each main camera required a backup server, and this gets expensive on a show of this scale,” added Houstle.

“We wanted to avoid this extra cost, so we built the system with a 50% backup idea going into the project and SP allowed us to set up a camera switching logic so that with a single button press the camera and server could be switched over instantly in case of failure.”

The calibration of cameras presented a challenge, particularly for hero shots of the stadium. SP’s camera calibration features and tools streamlined this process, allowing for quick and accurate calibration. The integration of numerous custom APIs ensured Silver Spoon could use their entire toolkit of technologies, yet have control, visibility and failover within a single source of truth in SP.

In the case of the Super Bowl, SPnet, an openly available protocol that allows real-time object-based data streams to connect in SP, was adopted by Pixotope facilitating the control of multiple instances in a few clicks.

SP also helped with visibility and control. “With SP we have full visibility over diagnostics across the entire production and can identify problems quickly and solve them straight away. If something pops up, I want to be able to tell clients I know where the problem is and how long it will take us to fix it. With SP, I can do this,” he concluded.