Researchers at Tokyo University’s Oku Ishikawa Lab — home of the unbeatable rock, paper, scissors robot — are working on another application of high-speed motion tracking, only this one’s for real sports. A research team headed by Kohei Okumura has put together a motion-tracking camera system with a tiny one-millisecond latency, allowing the camera to stay locked on even fast-moving targets — say, ping pong balls in play (video below).

While motion tracking isn’t new, an ordinary camera would be too heavy to move with millisecond-order precision, so the team decided to go with a fixed camera and two rotating mirrors — one to control pan (the horizontal axis), and the other for tilt (vertical); an array the group calls a "saccade mirror," in reference to the rapid movement of the human eye. The system could be particularly valuable for capturing sports, letting viewers follow what’s happening onscreen more easily, and virtually guaranteeing close-up shots of important plays.