Future Applications and Media Lab
The Future Applications and Media Lab provides the framework for the latest developments and technologies of Fraunhofer FOKUS’ business unit FAME. Here, the latest expert knowledge and the experiences gained in numerous projects are combined, analysed and evolved. This enables us to build prototypes, demonstrators and proof-of-concept solutions meeting all the latest standards. The Future Applications and Media Lab plays an important role in research and development and offers smart solutions for various subject areas:
360° Video Streaming
The Cloud-based 360° Video Playout for HbbTV enables a viewing experience of 360° videos on TV screens as well as every other internet capable video player. In order to do so, the content of the 360° video is processed in our cloud-based streaming solution, however, only the selected field of view (fov) is streamed to the end device. In this way, the required bitrate is strongly reduced and the available bandwidth is used for an optimal image quality. Simultaneously, we shift the complex and computing intensive processing of the 360° video material on our cloud streaming server and thus enable the usage of 360° videos even on less powerful devices, such as television sets.
Interactive 360° Streaming Suite for advanced Storytelling
The interactive 360° Streaming Suite adds a storytelling feature to 360° videos, which makes different elements of the video clickable and thus allows an interactive experience for the viewer. The web-based editor provides various pre-defined markers as well as customizable icons to tag different elements of the video. Interaction elements allow for the dynamic display of overlays, the insertion of supplementary information as well as to link to other video segments and resources. Furthermore, the tool makes it possible to lead the viewer through the video by freely definable actions – for example, the attention of the viewer can be directed at a certain time to a previously defined area in the 360° video (fov).
Non-linear Video (NLV)
Non-linear Video (NLV) adds clickable objects to ordinary videos and thus creates an interactive video surface. The NLV content management system provides a cloud-based platform for the creation, organization, distribution and monetization of interactive video material. Interactive video material improves the viewer retention, attracts attention, entertains the viewer and enables further storylines in the video. Therefore, the NLV CMS offers various functions, such as the integration of videos, audio, images, text, documents, web content and social media. NLV player are designed for a cross-platform usage and available for numerous devices – even on mobile devices and the SmartTV thanks to the support of HTML5, Flash, iOS, Android, CE-HTML and Mediaroom.
To optimize the interaction between the end user and devices (such as tablet and TV or smartphone and TV), Fraunhofer FOKUS’ business unit FAME developed various solutions. Each of these solutions (HbbTV 2.0 Companion Screen Framework, FAMIUM Multiscreen, FAMIUM Multiscreen Advertisement, FAMIUM Personal Cloud, FAMIUM Internet of Things, FAMIUM TV Control Service, TV Predictor and Megastore) is specific to a certain networking model. In this way, Fraunhofer FOKUS provides various opportunities to ensure a user-friendly interaction.
Tools for the development of HbbTV applications
The HbbTV Application Toolkit allows editors and content creators to produce HbbTV applications, which for example contain additional content about the respective program (pictures, videos, background information, audio clips or 360° video content). The HbbTV App editor is based on the open source CMS WordPress and thus is characterized by an easy handling and flexible design for which the user does not need any specific technical knowledge.
Broadcast Measurement and Monitoring
With the HbbTV Broadcast Measurement and Research Tool, Fraunhofer FOKUS’ business unit FAME enables broadcasters to measure their TV reach in real-time and with highest precision. This gives them the ability to gain deep knowledge of their programs, viewing habits of their audience and to optimize strategic programming and advertising. Furthermore, the Broadcast Probing System can be used to measure and evaluate the signal and reception quality of DVB (digital video broadcast). The combination of both solutions ensures an extensive review of the respective broadcasting.
Dynamic Ad Insertion
The FAMIUM DAI Services of Fraunhofer FOKUS provide an end-to-end solution for Dynamic Ad Insertion in on demand and live content. They support Client Side Ad Insertion as well as Server Side Ad Insertion (SSAI) for the adaptive bitrate streaming formats MPEG DASH and HLS. Therefore, FAMIUM DAI SSAI works with Manifest Manipulation and allows a scalable, dynamic and cost efficient insertion into existing and new services.
Digital learning platforms
The Learning Technologies, developed by Fraunhofer FOKUS’ business unit FAME, serve for the creation of personalized teaching and learning content for adaptive learning. For the implementation of suitable platforms and infrastructures, we use open standards and specifications. In this context, established software components and learning management systems interact seamlessly with newly developed technologies. The developed web applications are compatible with diverse devices (for example computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets and SmartTV’s) and thus allow learning independent of time and place. The relevant editors are also based on open standards and characterized by an easy handling. Thanks to personalized learning paths and recommendation systems, the learner is individually guided through the learning process. The great diversity of integrated innovative media types such as mini applications functioning as exercise units, interactive 360° videos or gamification elements (for example badges, experience points, leader boards, etc.) provide lots of variety for the user and thus have a positive motivational effect.