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On AppMarket.tv we write extensively on Social TV, Media Convergence, CE devices and the emergence of TV apps that connects with our transforming society.
Transformation because of Digitalization, Modularity, Fragmentation and the Information-basis of society.
The latter is a present challenge that will only increase as the Internet will take more and more a prominent place within our daily lives.
Exactly for this global challenge, companies like BBC, HyperTV and LinkTV are creating Contextually Enriched platforms that create immersive experiences for both consumers as content providers.
Creating sense in the vast amount of information and providing users fun and relevant information based upon their current actions.
These (Semantic) Web related technologies are great examples of how technological innovations can sustain the needs of society.
A symbiotic relationship.
The Financial Times reports that Contextual Awareness is an advantage for operators:
News Corp’s NDS has developed an interface code-named Oona for cable and satellite operators that enables close web tie-ins with content being watched – for example, a show featuring the chef Gordon Ramsey could bring up a video “widget” showing recipes.
This week, ITVT reported that BBC is developing a prototype Connected TV app that pulls data from the Web that fits and is relevant to the live stream.
Questions that BBC's Andrew Littledale tries to answer are:
"What [will] set-top boxes connected to the Internet...look like for the user" and "What kind of interfaces will work best when TV and the Web become bedfellows?"
The result was the development of an application that achieved:
"The most useful application we could think of was something that would provide Web content that was relevant to what was being talked about on TV.
So we created a Flash application that pulls in live subtitles from an IRC channel and places them underneath a live feed of [BBC digital channel] News 24...
As the subtitles appear on the screen, they are sent off to a natural language processing API, and relevant concepts are extracted from the text (and in our case returned as DBpedia terms).
When the concepts come back from the API they are placed over the EMP on the left of the picture. We've mapped these terms to BBC News content and clicking on them reveals links on the right. Clicking on these opens up the Web page in a new tab."
Visit ITVT to watch a demo of the prototype application.
The first (open source based) videoplatform which provides a new web user experience.
Videos, pics, texts, widgets and applications coexist and cooperate into the same page, involving users in a dynamic, interactive and innovative content fruition.
The player is the core of the platform, from which the interactive experience starts: events automatically appear beside the main text or otherwise they may be chosen by the user.
HyperTV comes in two different modes: On Demand and Live.
I asked Chairman Claudio Vaccarella of HyperTV what his vision is of this type of platforms, and how it fits the the current state of our society.
First of all I think there are two main categories of video platforms: one contains solutions like youtube, where the user experience is made of video and some user interaction capabilities. The future of those is in TV-like applications, as the lean-back user interaction can be easily achieved by remotes working almost in the same way as the classic remotes.
The second category, by far less populated than the previous, is made of platforms implementing the language of the Web. Those platforms combine videos with images, articles, maps, to give users a true web experience. In the near future those solutions should find their way in what we now call webtv, as they require a different attitude then the lean-back user.
Good question! It can be answered from many points of view, two are those I want to address. The information-hungry society is facing an overwhelming amount of information sources, the ability to Filter and correlate contents the video platforms have is a value growing by the minute.
The fight for user attention is becoming harder and harder as the number of content publishers is skyrocketing, the ability of engage customers makes the difference. Enriched video platforms seem to provide authors the toolbox to build the interactive web experience that inform and entertain users.
Another interesting player in this field is LinkTV:
While watching high-impact video stories on the site, viewers can choose to dig deeper by exploring up-to-date details on which organizations are involved, links to related content, and lists of relevant actions they can take.
For example, imagine you are watching a short documentary about clean water issues in India. As the video plays, adjacent windows will dynamically generate links to actions and media directly related to each scene.
The site will automatically create these links using semantic Web tools. Rather than simply scanning for keywords, this new technology also analyzes context and meaning to find the most relevant results from all the latest information and links available.
These are just three companies in a rising market where the need for sophisticated systems increases.
Not only does it provide clarity in the Internet overloaded information frenzy, but it is a technology that can be incorporated into lots of applications, varying from TV apps to companion applications for the mobile and tablets.
Social applications provide a useful context that enhances the interaction and lessens the need for activity, but goes more towards a lean-back (sub-) experience.
The acquisition of Metaweb by Google is an indication that information is in need of being "understood", put into relation and make the Web and other Internet formats more richer.
Attention = Key and the challenge for the users' time (and money).
Immersive experiences depend on relevancy and a content-context diarchy to get the attention of users.
Contextually enriched platforms are powerful means to achieve this goal.
What's your opinion of these type of platforms?
What areas do you think these technologies can help with?