News Round-Up

Head Tracking Augmented Reality Technology

--Three New EBIF Tutorials Available on OEDN's Web Site
--Leslie Ellis Wins 2010 Women in Technology Award
--EchoStar to Launch "Slingloaded" DVR for UK's Freesat Platform Powers Interactive Ad Campaign for Diesel
--PointRoll, Oddcast in Augmented Reality Partnership
--Rentrak Says Deal with Experian Will Enable Advertisers to Better Target TV Viewers

Here is a round-up of some other interactive TV-related stories that we didn't have room for in this issue:

  • OEDN (note: the name is an acronym for "OCAP/EBIF Developer Network"), an organization which is attempting to drive application development efforts using the US cable industry's OCAP/tru2way and EBIF middleware standards and whose backers include Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Charter and Bright House, has published three downloadable EBIF tutorials on its Web site, which it says were supplied to it by Russian OCAP/EBIF developer, Luxoft. According to the organization, the tutorials assume a basic knowledge of EBIF, and all sample applications were developed and tested using TVWorks XDK, Eclipse IDE and the Tomcat Application Server. The tutorials are 1) "Dynamic Content in EBIF Applications Using Two-Way Communications" (described by OEDN as "building a simple EBIF application featuring dynamic content using two-way communication"), 2) "Complete EBIF Application Example Using Two-Way Communication" (described by OEDN as "an extension of the 'Dynamic Content' tutorial"); and 3) "Insert Characters into Text Fields Using the Remote Control in EBIF Applications" ("when using the textinput widget, you can easily send numeric characters by pressing the digits on the remote control, but to send alpha-characters to the user interface, an additional programming effort is required--this tutorial presents a simple solution to this issue," OEDN explains).
  • Leslie Ellis, a high-profile figure in interactive TV and cable circles, has won the 2010 Women in Technology Award, which is sponsored by WICT, the SCTE and Communications Technology magazine. Ellis, who in addition to authoring Multichannel News's popular technology-explainer column, Translation Please, has moderated two keynote sessions at the TV of Tomorrow Show (among many other achievements), is widely respected for her ability to explain complex television technologies simply, concisely and accurately. She will be presented with her award at the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in October. "There's no more fitting place to honor Leslie than at SCTE's Cable-Tec Expo," SCTE president and CEO, Mark Dzuban, said in a prepared statement. "Like her predecessors on the list of Women in Technology award winners, she has devoted her career to helping the industry to embrace the technological innovation that is reshaping the industry and directly impacting the bottom lines of operators and programmers."
  • At an awards event organized by the UK's free-to-air satellite platform, Freesat, in London last week, Adrian Dowle, senior project manager for Europe at EchoStar's TV placeshifting subsidiary, Sling Media, revealed that EchoStar is developing a "slingloaded" (i.e. placeshifting-enabled) Freesat+ DVR.
  • Norwegian interactive TV technology provider,, has announced that it recently worked with systems integrator, Comtech Experience, on a "guerrilla" interactive advertising campaign, dubbed "Be Stupid," for clothing brand, Diesel, in Denmark. The campaign was powered by the company's Interactivity Suite. "'s Interactivity Suite powers communication between mobile phones and video displays," the company states in its press materials. "For the 'Be Stupid' campaign, it worked in the background to enable mobile phone users to send photo messages to a shortcode number for inclusion in a constantly changing mosaic on Facebook, on 8x6-meter projections on buildings in downtown Copenhagen, and on digital signs in Diesel stores in Copenhagen and Aarhus. Because of's powerful software, the mobile messages could be uploaded and displayed within 12 seconds or less. The images were then stored on Facebook for tagging or viral sharing by other means."
  • Digital marketing services provider, PointRoll, and Oddcast, a company that describes itself as a specialist in "user-personalized participation marketing," have announced a partnership to integrate Oddcast's augmented reality technology into PointRoll's advertising banners. "While existing AR technology requires users to use a 'marker' for the webcam, such as a printable image or barcode, in order to manipulate movement of the AR experience, Oddcast and PointRoll eliminated this requirement by allowing the user's face to act as that marker," the companies state in their press materials. "This technology advancement signifies innovative and unique opportunities for agencies and advertisers, where individuals with webcams can seamlessly become immersed--and participate--in a branded AR experience. For example, a car manufacturer can create an AR environment that mimics a new car model's interior where users can examine the interior freely, almost as if they were physically sitting inside the car." A demo video from the companies is embedded above.
  • Rentrak has announced that it will offer its customers access to Experian Simmons' national and local consumer purchase propensity data via an integration with Rentrak's own national and local viewership measurement services, TV Essentials and StationView Essentials. "The combination of Experian Simmons' behavioral propensities with Rentrak's unique second-by-second viewing data sourced from 17 million televisions will greatly improve the ability of advertisers to match their spots against programs that their target customers actually watch," Rentrak states in its press materials. "Local television stations and national networks will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their advertising through more precise targeting while broadening their advertiser base with the ability to identify specific products and brands their viewers consume, including those that may not currently advertise on TV."


North America