By Niklas Björkén, Director Innovations, Accedo
IBC is the perfect place for us to showcase our latest innovations, gain valuable feedback from the market before we test real-world scenarios. . This year’s IBC is a particularly exciting one as we have been working especially hard over the past few months and the result is some really interesting projects.
If you visited NAB or BroadcastAsia earlier this year, you may have seen our Augmented Reality second screen experience for sports. If you are an avid reader of our blog, you will have also seen quite a lot of content where we talk about such things as design considerations for AR experiences. If you haven’t already seen the demo, I would urge you to pop by our stand and have a look and try it out for yourself. Essentially, it is designed to give a TV viewer a more personalised and engaging second-screen experience during long-distance sports events such as marathons, rallies or other races. We have created a ‘bird’s eye view’ of a large physical area by placing an interactive overview with real-time updates in the viewer’s physical space through a tablet or mobile phone. It can be used at the event to offer more insight for the viewer or at home, offering extra value to live sports for consumers. It has also made it onto the shortlist for the CSI awards which will be announced at IBC. Not only that, but watch this space for some exciting announcements that will bring targeted advertising into the AR environment.
Another innovation that has been drawing the crowds to our booth for the last few shows is our whitelabel Virtual Reality (VR) experience. It provides a quick and easy way for our customers to go to market with 360 videos across the major VR platforms. The experience is focused on ease of use, providing users with a familiar paradigm for navigating and discovering content, while at the same time making use of the amazing feeling of immersiveness that VR can offer. Our VR solution is powered by the Accedo One cloud services, allowing live customizations of published apps through our SaaS platform.
Accedo VR now runs on Oculus Go VR headsets, in addition to Samsung GearVR and Google Daydream compatible head-mounted displays. Again, if you’ve not yet seen the VR demo, come and check it out. We think you will agree that it is one of the most natural VR experiences available.
User behaviour has changed a lot in the past few years. One example is the trend for mobility, with users taking their viewing experience out of the living room. Thanks to smartphones with amazing displays, consumers are watching videos literally everywhere and anytime. However that type of viewing is not without its challenges. We have either been there or witnessed that person on the bus balancing a cup of coffee whilst trying to manage the video player on their phone. The end result generally involves coffee somewhere other than where it is meant to go.
The problem is that the traditional video player user interface lays out various interactive elements across the screen real estate in a way that makes it difficult to use one-handed. Holding a smartphone with one hand in landscape mode and trying to interact with the video player UI buttons using your thumb quickly becomes an exercise in balance and finger contortion.
In order to help users enjoy a video experience on the go we need to re-imagine the way a video player user interface works. We have been investigating how to adapt the user interface to accommodate these new and emerging usage patterns in mobile video apps. The resulting portable video UI uses three base criteria.
- All video playback controls need to be accessible with the thumb of the hand that is holding the phone.
- The user should be able to seamlessly switch between the left and right hand.
- The user should never need more than one hand to operate the user interface
All of these innovations will be on display on our booth (14.E10) at IBC. Schedule a meeting to see them in action!