Contributed by Krishnan Ramanathan, Senior Research Scientist, HP Labs India
The book reading experience has remained static for centuries. With books going digital, there is an opportunity to make book reading much richer by augmenting it with videos and personalizing the experience to an individual user.
HP VideoBook is a solution from HP Labs India that augments the book reading experience with videos. The solution is based on an algorithm that selects videos for an input document (textbook chapter, training manual, news article, etc.). The algorithm identifies important topics in the input document and forms queries to a video source. The results are ranked using a video selection algorithm that takes into account diversity and relevance of the videos and the coverage of the book topics. Finally, the book page and videos are presented side by side.
The solution is being productized as a cloud hosted solution as well as a client-server solution. The cloud version of the solution is currently hosted on the HP cloud and the initial use case is targeted at improving text book based education (see figure 1 below). Students can login to the system from a browser and access videos relevant to each page of the textbook chapter. The software is implemented using J2EE technologies.
Figure 1: VideoBook -- Cloud-hosted version accesed from a browser
A client server version (aimed at enterprises) has been developed for employee training an on-boarding. This is architected as plug-ins to Microsoft Word and Adobe acrobat. When the user opens the documents in the document reader, the plugin fetches videos relevant to the document and displays them in the document reader. The user can select and watch a video.
Figure 2: VideoBook client server version
The main research challenges in VideoBook are to extract relevant topics from the textbook, source appropriate videos from a video source (e.g. YouTube) and to rank and select the videos. We have developed a key phrase extraction technique for identifying important topics in the textbook. We have also developed a video selection algorithm that simultaneously optimizes multiple criteria such as relevance of videos, coverage of textbook topics and diversity of videos.
VideoBook has been tested in schools in Bangalore and Ahmedabad, India, using HP’s Lab-in-a-box as the hardware platform (figure 3). This was done with the support of HP’s Sustainability and Social Innovation (SSI) organization. It is also being piloted at colleges and universities.
Figure 3: VideoBook trials at Ahmedabad India using HP's Lab-in-a-box
The product will be launched in two versions by Technology services (TS) India: an education version (for use in schools, colleges and universities) and an enterprise version (for employee training and onboarding).
Read more about VideoBook in this PC World article.
Related link: HP Labs India -- Future School -- Learning without Constraints