Posts Tagged 'Television'

Hardcopy Video is (almost) Here

cbs-video-print_IVeIn a recent radio article for the BBC’s weekly Digital Planet program, reporter John Stewart discusses a new spin on blending media.  In this case, Entertainment Weekly’s hard-copy magazine has included an insert that plays a full-motion video ad (Pepsi – what else?)  and CBS trailers with sound in a 320×240 pixel LCD-based window, visible inside the ‘max’ text in the image above.

As always, the technology is being driven by the needs of advertisers to stand out in a crowded marketplace.  In an introductory aside, presenter Gareth Mitchell mentions that Americans are exposed to around 3000 advertising messages per day.  Early-adopters of innovative display systems are usually the ad guys so there are no real surprises there.  I can certainly see some educational possibilities in this technology though, such as photo montages of topical news items, procedural sequences for, say, simple cuisine, or dynamic maps of geographic spaces, just for starters.  I included the word ‘almost’ in this article’s title because the cost per insert is still far too high to make this anything more than a gimmicky loss-leader for the time being.

BBC Reporter Rajesh Mirchandani also compiled a BBC One Minute News video clip on this topic on September 17th.

(image sourced from here.)

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Depth Charge: 3D laptops and mobile phones

wrote a post recently about 2009 shaping up to be a bumper year for mind-reading by machines.  It looks like another breakthrough technology is also on the radar this year:  3D displays for laptops and mobile phones.

The adoption of any new paradigm such as 3D requires the development of three basic components:
•  Capture technology –  cameras that can acquire 3D video images or graphic software that can produce 3D
•  Broadcast technology – capable of broadcasting stereo image information
•  Display technology  – monitors and mobile devices that can receive and display 3D video broadcasts

Canadian company Spatial View has been developing 3D capture and display technology which is marketed through its consumer brand, Wazabee, and seems to have the lead on other 3D mobile developers at the moment.  Here’s a Macworld 2009 interview with Jason King, Spatial’s Vice-President of Sales and Marketing, where he talks about a Wazabee 19-inch display showing World of Warcraft in 3D:

As Jason explains, the monitor uses a parallax barrier display to create auto-stereoscopic 3D content that can be viewed without coloured or polarized glasses. This is one of two display technologies currently being developed for 3D TV, the other being a lenticular lens display (Spatial’s clip-on for the 13-inch Macbook is known as the 3Dee Flector). Another player in the lenticular display field is Singapore-based Alioscopy.

Tampere University of Technology (TUT) in Finland has a good overview of the two technologies. Atanas Boev maintains a blog on 3D Mobile displays which has an on-going discussion of the technology and the current state-of-the-art.

One broadcast technology that may fit the bill is Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld (DVB-H), described by Wikipedia as ”a technical specification for bringing broadcast services to mobile handsets”.  Since 2008 it has been endorsed by the European Union as the “preferred technology for terrestrial mobile broadcasting”.  Tampere University has been experimenting with DVB-H broadcasts of 3D content to mobile devices.  The experimental platform is explained here.

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