Tue, 16 April 2024

“Immersive media” covered Open Days in Brussels: smartphone technology for a new media age

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On the initiative of AEJ Belgium, Brussels was this week the setting for journalists from across Europe to participate directly in a field test for new “immersive” media during “Open Days European week of regions and cities” from 12 to 15 October 2015. The experimental “Wall of moments”, developed by the European consortium ICoSOLE*, offered registered journalists the opportunity to cover the European Week of Regions and Cities meeting in Brussels simultaneously from different buildings spread over the city. The test users got a special app installed on their Android phones and were able to record and upload short sequences of video, the so-called Moments.

These clips were displayed on a video wall — the Wall of Moments — and were also displayed on a web-page. This way a range of content not covered by professional camera teams could be shared with friends and family. According to Tine Deboosere from the Flemish public broadcasting company VRT Research & Innovation, the platform could transform journalists’ ability to report events using a range of video content from remote locations where they cannot be present themselves. She is a journalist and creative coach who has worked closely with cutting- edge technology experts on this project. She explained that the process of requesting and offering content will be fully automated, so that a journalist can easily request a video made by a colleague and immediately get a response whether that video is available to be sent and used or not.

Very useful for journalists could be the combination of audio and video recordings by professional camera crews and non-professional content providers sent by smartphones. This can make extensive and varied coverage of big events a lot easier than it is now.

The content transmitted to the platform is strictly moderated to ensure that no inappropriate content is screened on the Wall. Mrs DeBoosere pointed out that any registered user in the platform could be authorized to act as a moderator.  29 participants participated and sent about 390 videos in all.

The project is still at the test phase, and it is being funded by the Seventh Framework programme of the European Union, FP7. When the test is completed, the consortium intends to apply for further funding to enter the market under Horizon 2020, which is currently the biggest EU Research and Innovation Programme and the successor of FP7 (2007 to 2013).

*The ICoSOLE consortium is a collaboration between several public and private partners lead by the Austrian Research Institute Joanneum. Members are the Joanneum research Digital, Technicolor Germany, VRT Research and Innovation (BE), Bitmovin (AT), IMinds (BE), the BBC and Tools at Work (AT). More info to be found on www.icosole.eu.

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