Urenio Watch Watch: Intelligent Cities / Smart Cities

Future Media Technologies

Two publications the European Commission DG Information Society and Media,  on Future Media outline a number of emerging technologies which might have great impact on intelligent / smart cities applications and services.   Media Internet is at the crossroads of digital multimedia content and Internet technologies. It encompasses (1) Media being delivered through Internet networking technologies, and (2) Media being generated, consumed, shared and experienced on the web.

Future Media Internet Research Challenges and the Road Ahead, is published by the “Future Media Internet-Task Force’. It is a White Paper that reflects the consolidated opinion of 25 experts from the EU, USA and Korea and describes the research challenges provisioned by the experts for the upcoming years, concerning the FMI, along with the potential impact these challenges might have.

Future Media Networks Research Challenges 2010, is published by the “Future Media Networks cluster of Networked Media Systems FP7 projects”, and identifies a set of research challenges in Future Media Networks.

The major research challenges these documents identify can be summarised as follows:

Network Coding is an emerging paradigm for media and generic data communication in complex networked environment as the Internet. In conventional communication networks such as the Internet, media delivery is achieved through routing. Network coding offers a more general approach by assuming that, in advanced future media networks, nodes can process and code media streams.

Scalable multimedia compression and transmission involving the transmission of video over communication networks. A video bit stream is called scalable when parts of it can be removed in such a way that the resulting substream forms a valid bit stream representing the content of the original with lower resolution and/or quality.

Content and context fusion technologies have been used in several environments such as TV, mobile media, media mobile search, etc. They include (1) technologies to capture the user behavior and profile, and (2) the systems to perform content and context fusion.

Immersive multi-sensory environments are taking into account multisensory data such as vibro-sensory (e.g. floor vibration) and low-frequency subsonic effects than can improve distance communication. Examples of these are in the field of therapeutic systems and rehabilitation, telemedicine, exertion games, connectedness, locative media for education and digital TV among others.

Quality of Experience remains an open area of investigation. The research issues include: defining the aspects that affect QoE; establishing a set of QoE metrics and their relationship with objective measurements; how the different actors in the chain of delivering media experiences can be accountable for their impact on QoE. The information on the level of satisfaction of the user with a service is critical, both during the development and deployment stages.

Content Objects (CO) are polymorphic/holistic containers, which may consist of media, rules, behaviour, relations and characteristics or any combination of the above. These virtual characters can interact socially and serve as companions for people and even potentially amongst each other. Smart CO are highly automated, while Intelligent CO are self-organised.

Location-based content, which is displayed dependent on user location and context. Augmented reality applications, with many potential uses, will create many business opportunities for the European content industry. Smart cities, car windscreen displays, targeted outdoor publicity are just some examples.

Open and federated platforms for content storage, distribution and search will increase access to large quantities of media and avoid the problems of fragmentation and monopolisation by a few large content publishers/aggregators.

Content Centric Networking is one of the major themes driving research challenges in Future Media Networks over the next decade. In this new paradigm, the major research challenges is how to make communications network as location-independent as possible. The network layer functions is becoming separated from application logic. CCN includes also (1) multi-stream, multi-sensory stream coordination and synchronization, (2) distributed search, (3) location based media.

New business models are required in the delivery chain of future networked media and the solutions to the above research challenges may potentially have a significant impact.

Source: EU BookShop