News Stories

Immersive experience with VibeAttire Vibrating Vest

There are several exhibitors showcasing “vibro-tactile” audio experiences at CES, including vibrating earbuds and headphones.  But one of the more interesting is VibeAttire, a vest wired with vibrating motors and a small processor that converts audio signals into vibrations and maps them through the vest.

vibrating_vestIt was originally designed (in part with support from the National Science Foundation) to provide a music experience for the deaf.

It sounds weird, but it was actually a very cool immersive experience.  We listened to MP3s and watched part of “The Matrix” while wearing the vest, and can imagine a 3D movie or game with it on could be awesome.

And hey, if people are willing to wear the 3D glasses, maybe they wouldn’t mind a vibrating vest…

TwonkyMedia offers Connected Home Solutions

PacketVideo announced new versions of TwonkyMedia server software, including TwonkyServer Mobile designed specifically for Android handsets.  TwonkyMedia Manager version 1.3 is compatible with more than twice the number of consumer devices than previous releases.  TwonkyMedia solutions are currently available on more than two million CE products for sharing media on devices located throughout the home network.  Now users can now stream media located on Android handsets to other connected products using their phone as a media sharing device.

From HP Netbooks to Apple iPhones the software allows management of large libraries of media and also supports Facebook photos, SHOUTcast radio stations, Flickr photos and a selection of rich video sites.

twonky3TwonkyMedia server for Windows XP/Vista, Mac and Linux is currently available for $29.95.

Additionally, TwonkyBeam is free software that lets users stream media directly from a browser to devices around the home.  It emerged from beta and now supports playlists for slide shows and video and music channels and easy software updates.  And with access through a browser plug-in users can now display available media on a personal Web page.


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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