News Stories

LG Pen Touch Multi Board supports Multiple Users

LG presented a new approach to television and board controls with its LG Pen Touch Multi Board, essentially a large widescreen LCD with stylus touch controls.

The LG board is distinct from similar computer-driven boards currently on the market (such as the Smart Board) in that it allows image manipulation via multiple controls and supports more than one user at a time. Imagine using two pressure-sensitive stylus controls to manipulate the screen, similar to how you’d use two fingers on the touchscreen of an iPhone or iPad. This advancement enables multiple simultaneous users, which really opens up new possibilities.

The Pen Touch Multi Board is being promoted for classroom applications, but could also be an interesting resource for kiosks, theme parks, museums, and more. Notes taken during a meeting or presentation, for example, can be saved to a PC to be accessed at a later time.

LG anticipates Q2 availability. (Los Angeles Times has an interesting online video demo.)

Op-Ed: Facebook, Twitter, and Connected TVs… Oh, my!

Facebook and Twitter had a strong presence at CES … in the form of apps on connected TVs, Blu-ray players, set-top-boxes, and just about any connected device. Samsung even announced that its new connected refrigerator could display your Twitter feed. The popularity of social networks have forced CE manufacturers to include them on their products’ feature specs, irrespective of how appropriate the application truly is. Unfortunately, this knee jerk reaction to include social networks clearly demonstrates the lack of imagination or understanding as to how social networks are really used by people.

Social networks go beyond just being able to see what your friends are saying as you open up the refrigerator. Rather, social networks should be viewed as sources of information that can reveal deep personal connections. Re-imagine the connected refrigerator using social networks to suggest meals that have been successfully cooked by family and friends. Or suggesting new drinks or other edible delights that were just mentioned in a friend’s status update. The key to appropriate usage of social networks is … context. What is the device and how is it being used?

CE companies should realize that the device itself gives the user context and should guide the usage of social networks on the device. True, in the end, CE manufacturers will always pick the lowest hanging fruit first. But as social networks become more ubiquitous, the industry needs to determine what about social networks will help them to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Ultimately it’s not just about adding Facebook, but instead, asking “What can we do using social networks to maximize the appeal/utility of our products for our consumers?”


Data & Analytics Project

The Storytelling Cipher: Mapping Precise Story and Character Mechanics to Box Office Returns

Our Data & Analytics Project held “The Storytelling Cipher: Mapping Stories & Characters to Box Office Revenue” Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

This study leverages the Dramatic taxonomy of film narrative to infer which scene-level character and story attributes generate more box office returns, by genre. We are extending this study to ads and movie trailers.

The project researchers used machine learning to map 70+ story attributes for 300 films to their box office returns to extract which story mechanics or character features in film generated the most revenue. This was the first time granular story and character mechanics have been used to predict box office returns, which opens up many avenues to make more data-driven creative and development decisions throughout the industry.

What’s a good story? The question has been hanging without a scientific answer since the dawn of man. It seems that a story’s lack of clear mathematical structure and universal taxonomy would relegate such classification of stories to the qualitative – and highly subjective- empire of critics and … people.

Until now.

The event presented results from the research, discussed applications for the development and creative process, and outlined next steps.

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