ACM - Computers in Entertainment

A word from the editor

By Newton Lee
Social television and user interaction, [Vol. 6, No. 1]

DOI: 10.1145/1350843.1350844

Welcome to ACM Computers in Entertainment, a premier online magazine featuring video interviews with leading professionals and interesting articles on entertainment technology and its applications.

For this first issue of 2008, we are proud to announce the creation of a brand new section of ACM CIE, "Analysis: New Media and New Technology," a section that focuses on the business side of computers in entertainment, looking at the applications and impact of various technologies and trends on the entertainment industry.

For this special January/March 2008 issue on Social Television and User Interaction, we would like to acknowledge the wonderful job by our guest co-editors Pablo Cesar (Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica, The Netherlands), Konstantinos Chorianopoulos (Ionian University, Greece) and Jens F. Jensen (Aalborg University, Denmark) as well as the following reviewers who helped evaluate and revise the iTV papers:

• S. Agamanolis, Distance Lab, UK

• Berglund, Linkoping University, Sweden

• D. Geerts, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

• J. Masthoff, University of Aberdeen, UK

• M. Obrist, HCI & Usability Unit, ICT&S, University of Salzburg, Austria

• L. Pemberton, Brighton University, UK

• Quico, TV Cabo, Portugal

In the Video Presentation column, we feature the presentation videos of Ian Kegel (December 6-7, 2007) and Keith Baker (November 17, 2007).

Ian Kegel holds an MEng in Electrical and Information Sciences from the University of Cambridge. He has worked in both the defense and telecommunications industries on projects ranging from radar signal processing to multimedia delivery, and has spent the last 8 years undertaking content-related research within BT. He currently heads the Future Content Group, a team of 10 researchers whose role is to supply BT with the product ideas, technology and foresight which it needs to help its customers take full advantage of the world of digital content. Ian also co-ordinates a program to develop compelling new applications and services for the broadband-connected TV. He collaborates with partners from industry and academia from across Europe in a variety of projects and initiatives, and is actively involved in the current EU Framework 6 program. Ian works IEPRC, IBC and broadcasters and media producers in the UK, and he holds several patents in the multimedia content field. In the video presentation, you will hear his views on "digital home."

What will multimedia in the Digital Home look like in 5 years' time? Today, the majority of digital communication is carried out between individuals, while broadcast television still delivers the same experience to large groups of people. However, this situation is rapidly changing and we recognize three major trends:

1. Natural communication will be possible between groups rather than individuals, connected via broadband networks.

2. Entertainment experiences will become truly personalized, with multimedia content being automatically tailored to those watching it.

3. People will be able to seamlessly augment their communication with rich multimedia content.

This video provides a brief tour of the future Digital Home. It will show how casual family games could be played between remote families mediated by natural video and audio communication focused on the television, and it will explore how this technology could enable cooperative play between children and richer, more supportive communication for the elderly. It also explains how new personalized narrative forms can be applied to multimedia content created and shared between families. These visions are being made real through ongoing collaborative research in Europe, in completed projects such as NM2 (New Millennium, New Media) and future projects such as TA2 (Together Anywhere, Together Anytime).

Keith Baker is Open Innovation Manager at Philips Applied Technologies. At Philips Research he was very active in design for testability tools and the method of testing low power ICs called IDDQ. Since 1999 he has focused on multimedia applications and holds 15 patents in this area. He has led a number of Eureka project related to DVB/DVB technology, including early integrations of MPEG4-AVC in STB technologies. Since 2003, in the context of various Eureka projects, he has explored the value of P2P networks for long-tail content distribution. He has been fascinated by the interaction between the Systematizing groups in the population, and how in the last 200 years they have used science fiction through the media to focus the technical efforts of society. In the video presentation, you will hear his views on "science fiction, neuroscience, and new media."

The film "Minority Report (2002)" by Steven Spielberg shows the implications of neuroscience as its central theme and demonstrates the innovative use of modern media in a number of original situations. A number of ideas from the film have inspired some researchers and business executives into exploring the interaction between the human mind and new technology.

Some ideas from the film have been rendered as prototypes, and these have shown the limitations of the concepts as new media. Our emerging knowledge of neuroscience can be used to explain why these ideas from the film don't work in the situations as shown. One situation that was taken to deployment but failed was in-store entertainment, which was carefully analyzed by the instigator.

In the Social Television and User Interaction articles section, we feature an introduction paper and 4 best papers from EuroITV 2007 conference:

1. Social Television and User Interaction (by Pablo Cesar, Konstantinos Chorianopoulos, and Jens F. Jensen)

2. Trends in the Living Room and Beyond: Results from Ethnographic Studies using Creative and Playful Probing (by Regina Bernhaupt, Marianna Obrist, Astrid Weiss, Elke Beck, and Manfred Tscheligi)

3. Designing new interfaces for digital interactive television usable by older adults (by Mark Rice and Norman Alm)

4. Awareness and Conversational Context Sharing to Enrich TV Based Communication (by Bart Hemmeryckx-Deleersnijder and Jeremy M. Thorne)

5. The Uses of Social Television (by Gunnar Harboe, Noel Massey, Crysta Metcalf, David Wheatley, and Guy Romano)

In the Analysis: New Media and New Technology section, we present 4 original articles by Chris Davison:

1. No New Wires

2. Living the Digital Life

3. CBS Vision

4. As the Disc Turns

The Announcements column highlights some of the upcoming events and conferences. Please visit for a complete listing of upcoming and past conferences co-sponsored by ACM Computers in Entertainment.

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