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Teaser, summary, work performed and final results

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - VISUALMEDIA (Immersive and Interactive Real Time 3D Social Media Graphics Environments for the Broadcast Industry)


In recent years there has been a progressive trend toward integrating social media technologies into broadcast technology environments to facilitate direct audience participation in live programming. Thereby, creative industry stakeholders in the broadcast media sector are...


In recent years there has been a progressive trend toward integrating social media technologies into broadcast technology environments to facilitate direct audience participation in live programming.
Thereby, creative industry stakeholders in the broadcast media sector are progressively requiring more access to enhanced capabilities for improving the user experience through increased involvement and interaction.
The concept in project VisualMedia is to integrate state of the art in Social Media Engines, innovative 3D graphics capabilities and novel interaction systems into one single solution in order to bring to the market a completely new way to produce TV programs. The VisualMedia integrated solution will allow the broadcaster to manage information streaming in through social media channels and seamlessly incorporate, in real time, data generated through viewer interaction as part of the audience experience. This is a timely proposition given the trends in consumer expectations and behaviour.

Work performed

During the first half of the project, the consortium has been focused on defining and gathering the end-user requirements and needs for VisualMedia. End users have been very active in the definition of Use Cases and the requirements for VisualMedia based on those cases.
In the second half of 2016, a lot of energy was invested in the tight integration with Brainstorms Graphics Engine (GE) through the GAP API. In addition, the Social Media Engine (SME) UI and its workflow were generalized so that functions and data from the GE are now accessible from the SME. In addition, several use case-driven features were added, like for instance access to a demographic analysis of a participating audience. Moreover, the SME provided a new interface for integration with the Online Distribution Engine (ODE).
Two different operation environments have been designed and the engine has been optimised for these two different workflows where the master interface can reside on the Social Media Engine or on the Graphics Engine.
Regarding the Optical Camera Tracking module leaded by UniS, several tracking configurations are possible and several camera configurations have been developed.

In the second year of the project the consortium focused on the internal integration between the various engines and components of the VisualMedia architecture. In addition the external integration of the solution in its expected studio habitat was addressed. The solution underwent a series of on-site verifications and validations at the six user partner’s studios. Feedback from this phase was used to further enhance and refine the technological components taking into account the use cases and the latest user experiences from the field.
Together Brainstorm and greatly enhanced their tightly integrated architecture to give more powerful controls over the graphics to users of the Social Media Engine, while also adding more flexibility to the framework.
Furthermore, IRT and integrated the ODE with the SME.
During the validation valuable feedback was collected and shared with the technical partners for further refinement of the various components. As a result the feedback proved to be essential for the preparation of the VisualMedia solution for its release into the commercial market.
Another important investment was the work for the exploitation and commercialization activities. and Brainstorm developed a consolidated final business plan. The consortium has participated in dissemination and promotional activities via its official project website, its presence on social networks and its participation in and manifestation at relevant industry events.

Final results

VisualMedia will be developed taking advantage of the know-how and experience of the consortium partners in social data management, real-time 3D graphics, advanced interaction systems and current industry standards. The interdisciplinary work will lead to the development of a highly competitive and robust solution.
Recently, global real time graphics solutions providers like Avid/Orad, Vizrt, Chryon or Ross have added social media capabilities to their platforms, however, these programmes come with some significant limitations:
• These companies are not experts in social media analysis and related social formats. Thus, in terms of overall flexibility, operational power and information density, the social media data retrieved and represented graphically by these ad-hoc solutions is severely limited as compared to data retrieved and formats constructed by Story from
• In addition, any social provision of these solutions has been done at a low level and is only accessible by technically trained graphics engineers, and not by social editorial teams. This should be put in contrast with the VisualMedia solution which offers an intuitive and easy-to-use workflow environment, designed for carrying out day-to-day production and moderation tasks by non-technical (social) media teams.
• Potential customers need to purchase a complete system from this global and expensive graphics solution to retrieve and display social media information, even if they want to keep their current graphics systems. The high costs of these platforms implies that only large corporation can afford purchasing access to social media graphics this way.
The VisualMedia solution will not suffer from these inefficiencies by providing a fully integrated solution based on state-of-the-art solutions for both 3D graphics and social media management. This will not only allow the display of high-quality 3D graphics but will also allow for content to be generated automatically from data streaming in through various social media channels, overlaid with sophisticated filters and other logic. Furthermore, offering the opportunity for users to interact intuitively with visualized information through integrated second screen applications will significantly raise the level of engagement.
VisualMedia it is envisaged as an affordable and stand-alone augmented reality social media graphics solution that can coexist with other real-time graphics solutions in the broadcaster. This innovative solution will be devoted to creating and launching social media graphics without competing with existing graphics technology provided by other engines.
Since the VisualMedia solution will be a stand-alone, scalable and affordable social media 3D graphics solution, any TV channel will be able to produce social media graphics for their productions. The VisualMedia solution will be adapted to the needs of the television by equipping it with simpler or more complex representations of the graphics. For this reason, VisualMedia will be validated in small, medium and large broadcasters in Europe.
It is expected that at the end of the project the fully integrated solution will offer a unique environment for producing social TV with attractive, eye-catching, real-time (3D) graphics. The technological and commercial potential of these formats is huge and the VisualMedia community brings together a combination of skills that make this solution unique and of great value to everyone involved.

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