“An adventure full of unexpected positive things”
Interview with Paul Valk from Studio Automated
The company from Amsterdam offers software that makes online broadcasting easy and effortless. Further it can help soccer coaches improving their tactical and team performance.
Some creative ideas started in a garage or maybe in a child’s room. What was it like with you and how did your company come about?
Paul Valk: More or less, we started with some cameras and computers installing software at home. But that was a problem regarding space. The whole idea started from a moonshot. There was so much content not being available for ordinary people that wanted to see highlights from their (sport) activities from a television, so we thought: „Wouldn‘t it be great to see and share highlights from non-professional sportmatches from a professional broadcast view?“
You develop software that makes online broadcasting effortless and affordable. Why is it so effortless and affordable and how does it work in general?
Valk: You simply install a camera, connect this via a computer to the internet, push a link to end users, click on the link and watch a sportmatch with a high-quality broadcast view.
How close to perfect would you describe your software for broadcasting? And in which areas is still room for improvement and offer an even better product?
Valk: We have very good insights in the top academic, sports and media world. We are the global leader in our segment using the most leading-edge AI models operational at many locations accross the globe. The biggest challenge now is to collect the amount of data training our AI models to the max. We are pretty close reaching human performance in an overwiew panorama (180 degree) camera. The next version of our AI software contains automatic AI detection of interesting moments during a match which a human will select based on obvious and not-obvious emotional moments.
And what exactly do you offer in the field of Virtual Director Coaching?
Valk: To enhance coaching performance we offer two different type of video streams: „Virtual Director Tactical View“ and our latest product „Virtual Coach Assistant“ (VCA). „Virtual Director Tactical View“ is an automatically created video stream that allows you as a coach to follow all players during or post game in order to improve tactical and team performance. Streams can be shared directly. „Virtual Coach Assistant“ (VCA) is an automatically created video stream that enables viewers to be their „own director“ of the match. Zoom in, freeze and playback to analyze key moments in the game. Streams can be shared directly. Again, coaches can use this to improve tactical and team performance during or post game.
Together with your partners, you oversee more than 50.000 live events around the world every year. In which areas (for example sports, concerts, etc.) are you active?
Valk: We are active in ten team sports globally, as well in Stadiums like the Johan Cruijff Arena, for Safety, Health and Customer journey improvements.
Studio Automated started two years ago. You went from start-up to scale-up. How do you look back on these two years and what have you planned for the future?
Valk: We look back on the past two years as an enormous adventure, full of unexpected positive things, but also learningfull, making mistakes and never losing our core values and goals. So if we continue doing what we have done the last two years, we will be for 100% the most wanted AI company for different industries in the world. Our claim: Always be honest, have respect, work smart, hard and never give up on the power of being loyal to yourself. We know, and experience every day, that it is more fun to have impact with an outstanding team solving real societal issues with AI. Our formula: „(passion + pleasure) x relevance = happiness“.