Its been less than 14 days since we launched our Perceptive Media prototype to the world and the feedback has been coming back thick and fast. As usual please keep it going and do pass it on to others who may have not heard it yet, even if they have no interest in the technology. Were as much interested in the general public view as technologists.
One of the unnoticed pieces which went up during the launch was our smc presentation for perceptive media.
Like most presentations I do, its low on text and you end up listening to what I say rather than reading the slides. This is great but not so good when you’ve not heard me (and Tony) talking.
So here’s a rough idea of what we talk about over the presentation…
- This presentation is for the concept of perceptive media
- You may not know but the BBC has a R&D department and they have been with the BBC right from the start. Actually a engineer was hired within the first 10 people to join the BBC. We do a whole load of research and development on questions the BBC faces in the near to long term future. We also feed into standard bodies such as W3C
- We use broadcast technology and broadcast to everyone in the UK. We do this because its in our remit and we must reach everyone who pays the license fee. It also provides the best value for the license fee
- Unfortunately Broadcast is one way communication and it can feel like your banging your head on a brick wall trying to reply or communicate back.
- The best stories are enchanting and engaging but how does this tally up with broadcast communication?
- I’ll like to take you back to the original story telling medium, before broadcast changed things… something like sitting around a campfire telling a ghost story. When telling that story, you would look at peoples faces and subconsciously change elements of the story.
- What happened? Broadcast happened, and the ability to tell many more people the same story became the default
- But in the move to broadcast (that one way medium) we forgot about context, body language, etc. These implicit actions and triggers which once would help form the narrative are no longer included.
- Take the comedy conundrum, every comedian has to face
- They choose to customise there sets with jokes and references to the local area
- Note the word customise rather than personise. The comedian is still in control and fit it in when he or she feels it approbate. They will also work against the typical view of the location if it works with material in there mind
- Variables are things which can change depending on other things in this case. But they each have rules, like maximum length. This is the same for narrative but the human mind can do the calculation so quickly on the fly
- Currently the state of the art in perceptive like media is centres around internet virals like Take this Lollipop. But we feel there unsubtle and frankly bit simple with the two way pipe of the internet. Now if you could do this on a one way pipe, wouldn’t that be interesting
- It needs to scale in a way which rivals Broadcast otherwise no one will take it seriously
- We this is possible with the incredible power the client side now has compared to previously.
- The power has been shifting to the user for many years with on-demand and other technologies
- We created with a bunch of other peoples help a prototype called “Breaking Out” to prove it can be done
- As you can see its not interactive, there is no feedback loops or anything like that. Its a customised experience
- Because there is clear difference between explicit and implicit feedback. We feel storytellers would love to work off the implicit feedback rather than the explicit stuff. Thats the stuff which drives your ghost story
- How? Well there is a ton of work and money going into adding sensors to your living room. From 3D cameras which see all to simple light sensors to adjust the picture brightness. We’re just talking about using that same data generated to customise a narrative
- Of course this all fits with the trend around big data sets, something the BBC has a lot experience in with BBC Backstage
- Back to the audience and narrative. Broadcasters have been losing the connection with the audiences. Lots of people have the TV on like the Radio. Its just on and if something picks up their ears, they will tune in or listen.
- There is a concept called the attention economy which you may know about and it gets talked about a lot. One of my favor quotes related to the concept is from John Doe on the film Se7en. Most of the examples fit in the sledgehammer category while…
- We feel we can achieve the same effect with little tickles here and there.
- Were talking about highly relevant customisation of narrative
- Which fit and run on the narrative rails setup by the author/storyteller
- When I watched Vanilla Sky first time, there was a scene which stuck a cord with me. I couldn’t work out what it was till the end when it was revealed they had re-imagined points of Tom Cruises memories (I won’t spoil it further)
- We feel we can strike a cord and reestablish that connection with our audiences which has been so badly missing
- Thank you!
Its of course, a lot better when we present it together and add all the additional stuff you won’t get in the notes. Plus it usually throws up a million questions which we have answers for…