Interactive TV News Round-Up (II): BlackArrow, Rogers Communications, Cable Interacts, Hillcrest Labs

--BlackArrow Powers Dynamic VOD Ad Insertion for Rogers Communications
--Cable Interacts 2012 Speakers Announced
--Hillcrest Labs Targets Smartphone and Tablet Space

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on The TV of Tomorrow Show 2012, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format.

  • Dynamic advertising-insertion technology specialist, BlackArrow, will announce today (Wednesday) that Canadian MSO, Rogers Communications, is deploying its Advanced Advertising System to power an advertising marketplace for its VOD services. "BlackArrow's Advanced Advertising System provides cable system operators and programmers with the real-time, multiplatform advertising-management and decision solutions that are needed to offer timely and relevant ads in on-demand sessions," the company states in its press materials. "Rogers is using the BlackArrow Advanced Advertising System to dynamically insert pre-, post-, and mid-roll ads into Rogers On Demand programming. Rogers' dynamic ad insertion roll-out began earlier this year and is scheduled to be implemented across additional Rogers cable markets later this year, marking the first widescale roll-out of dynamically inserted mid-roll advertising in North America...For Rogers, the BlackArrow system controls the real-time advanced advertising decisions needed to convey playout instructions to downstream video backoffice and video server systems. As part of that real-time decisioning process, a number of SCTE 130-compliant BlackArrow components are used: 1) The BlackArrow Placement Opportunity Information Service (POIS) determines the correct ad playload and inventory owners based on business rules between Rogers and their content-provider partners. 2) The BlackArrow Ad Decision Server (ADS) determines which ad campaigns to play...3) The BlackArrow Playlist Engine assembles the ads and mid-roll information into a playlist that the downstream video playback equipment can understand and execute. In addition, the BlackArrow Content Information Service (CIS) is used to capture and store break information for mid-roll triggers and metadata information that can be used in campaign targeting. The BlackArrow system also supports key features that are essential to optimizing the value of on-demand advertising: mid-roll ad insertion and replacement, as well as real-time, impression-level measurement capabilities that provide greater and more timely understanding of campaign performance and delivery."
  • Industry luminary, Craig Leddy, has announced the line-up of speakers for his third annual Cable Interacts event, which takes place April 5th in New York City. Participating companies include Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, HBO Go, Viacom Media, Samsung, McCann Erickson, A&E Networks, Arris, Zodiac Interactive, Rovi, Ensequence, Lauder Partners, Horowitz Associates and Conde Nast. More information is available here.
  • Hillcrest Labs said Monday that its Freespace motion-control technology is now available for manufacturers and component suppliers of smartphones and tablets. "Hillcrest's new Freespace MotionEngine for Mobile is an embedded software solution that manages and enhances the combined performance of motion sensors commonly found in smartphones and tablets--accelerometers, magnetometers, and gyroscopes--to enable today's motion-based applications and provide the foundation for next-generation user experiences," the company states in its press materials. "For years, Hillcrest has provided motion-control technology to the smart-TV, videogame, and PC industries, licensing its technology to companies such as LG Electronics, Roku, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., and others. With the increased adoption of motion sensors in smartphones and tablets, Hillcrest now offers some of the most advanced, flexible, and cost-effective motion-control technology to create differentiated products and applications for this growing market...The mobile industry has a specific set of sensor requirements, including the need to work with a variety of sensor suppliers and application processors across multiple mobile operating systems, maintain low costs, minimize battery usage, and extract the maximum performance out of the available sensors. The expanded use of multiple sensors in smartphones and tablets will require better sensor fusion and calibration to improve accuracy and support more advanced applications. Freespace MotionEngine for Mobile is a necessary foundation for a variety of mobile applications, such as: 1) Context Awareness: The accurate sensor fusion provided by the MotionEngine software enables precise tracking of a phone's motions and surroundings that can be applied to context-awareness applications. For example, the phone could perceive a car accident or a bad fall, query the user with a beep, and send a distress message or an emergency call if the user does not respond in a timely manner. 2) Pedestrian Navigation: The MotionEngine software provides a key building block to support improved navigation applications to augment GPS for use in instances when GPS is not available or not accurate enough. For example, the phone could sense that a user was walking in a shopping mall, calculate location using WiFi signals, monitor the user's pace, and present the user with a coupon or special offer when they approach a certain store. 3) Augmented Reality: Smartphone suppliers can benefit from Hillcrest's proven experience providing companies such as Kopin and Sensics with advanced motion control for their head-mounted computers and augmented reality applications. Using similar technology, the MotionEngine software can provide the foundation to create more advanced applications or improve the performance of existing augmented reality applications. 4) Health and Fitness: The MotionEngine software can be used in mobile devices to monitor users' physical activities. By calibrating and fusing sensor data, a more accurate picture of user activity can be created, without excessive battery use. Therefore, MotionEngine software can enable new health and fitness applications, such as activity tracking for calorie counting and diet purposes and effectiveness assessments of exercise regimes and physical therapist treatment. 5) Immersive Gaming: The MotionEngine software can support more immersive and precise motion-gaming applications that make full use of the gyroscope and the complete sensor configuration. For example, the phone could be held and swung like a golf club to play a virtual outdoor game of golf on the sidewalks of San Francisco. The phone could also be used as an in-air mouse to control an on-screen cursor and play casual games on smart TV's. 6) Gesture Control: Accurate sensor fusion coupled with the Freespace Gesture Recognition Engine allows users to perform motion gestures to accomplish simple tasks. For example, users can flick their phone to the left to go back in browser, or adjust the volume by tilting the phone to the left or right."
North America