Sruthi Krishnan

Video becomes favoured medium with broadband growth

‘Sixth Sense’ unveiled at TED conference

This invention is spearheaded by Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry of MIT

CHENNAI: Trace a circle on your wrist with a finger and a watch appears to tell you the time. As you read the newspaper, you touch the photo above the main news item. The latest video with all the updates plays in place of the photo. This is not Harry Potter’s sequel we are talking about, but a wearable device with a projector called the Sixth Sense.

This invention, spearheaded by Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was unveiled at the annual TED Conference held in February.

Available online

“The annual conference now brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives [in 18 minutes],” describes the TED website www.ted.com. But you do not need to catch a flight to listen to these talks, as they are available online at the site.

“Video has become a favoured means of consuming content primarily because of the growth of broadband … else it is too painful to stream and view,” says N. Udhay Shankar, who founded one of India’s earliest web companies and helped to kickstart the Linux movement in India.

While TED (which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design) is the most well-known of its kind, you can listen to Salman Rushdie talk on the Enchantress at Authors@Google, of Florence or Brian Cox talking about the God Particle at Edge.Org.

Beware

But beware; these videos could change your life. “Dean Ornish’s talk has led me to live a healthier lifestyle. Perhaps it was the tipping point, but all the same a well-argued cause can find new followers,” says Srini Ramakrishnan, a technology manager.

You do not always need to make sure your grey cells are charged up while clicking on the play button.

“Two friends, forty takes, one adventure across continents,” is the tag of fortylove.tv. Started by Adrianna Tan and her friend May Yee, this site is lets you travel through different cities.

“On one trip, I covered the Rath Yatra in Puri, Orissa, and it blew my mind,” says Ms. Tan, describing the start of fortylove.tv.

She took some video footage and showed it to people, who were amazed at the scale of the festival. “I felt that I was on to something... that maybe you didn’t need to have high-end camera equipment to do a travel show.” Her friend had shot a one-minute video of people buying food in Amsterdam and this led to fortylove.tv – “a video-driven site of the quirky places we loved, to tell the great stories you never heard of.”

Unexplored territory

An unexplored territory is video’s older avatar – radio. “There are thousands of hours of radio programming available on the Internet that is commonly referred to as ‘Old Time Radio.’ These are often out of copyright and are freely downloadable, and can be found on archive.org or other OTR websites on the internet,” says Mr. Ramakrishnan.

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