The VFL All-in-One Ghost Box
Matt Payne of PSI Research UK has devised a truly novel idea: the VFL Box. Ghost boxes containing a video screen have been built by only a handful of box makers since Frank Sumption came up with the original idea several years ago. Video feedback looping ITC gained prominence in the late 1980’s due to the work of Klaus Schreiber and others. There are still some great video ITC practitioners today, like Grupo TCI Seattle, Orion Silverstar and others.
This new VFL Box by Matt Payne allows for the ITC researcher to use ghost box technology and video feedback looping at the same time.
Payne’s invention is a thru-put box. This means that it has no sound generating capability on its own. Instead, it has a 3.5mm input so the ITC researcher can run from the output of any chosen device (ghost box, radio, computer, phone app, etc.). This allows the user to select the device that s/he believes offers the best communication experience for an ITC session.
In addition to the input, the box also contains a pick-up mic dedicated to the internal spring reverb. The output from this microphone runs to an output on the box interface. The three internal speakers run clean audio that is isolated from the spring reverb circuit. With dedicated clean audio output and dedicated reverb output, the user has the ability to record discriminant tracks in order to ascertain whether the reverb output, the clean output, or a blend of both provides better communication during an ITC session.
For the video set-up, the VFL Box utilizes two wireless cameras to create the video feedback loop. One camera is attached to the box and is aimed at the screen. To create the video feedback loop, a second wireless camera can be placed anywhere within a twenty meter range. Both cameras run at different wireless frequencies that are tuned via the receiver. The VFL Box contains a video output so you can record the image on the screen to a DVR or to a USB video capture device. This is an integral part of the system as reviewing the screen output frame-by-frame is required with video feedback looping ITC.
Finally, the VFL Box also includes an external microphone with the hopes that catching environmental sound will have an effect upon the video display.
The entire unit is powered via a single 12v DC input allowing the VFL Box to be used via battery when access to power is not available on location.
You can view this box and more or Matt Payne’s videos via his YouTube Channel. You can also download one of several free apps that Matt has made available to the public via his PSI Research UK website.
VFL BOX DEMO VIDEO