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VideoBook -- a new and richer reading experience

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.


VideoBook_Cloud hosted version.png


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.



VideoBook_Cloud hosted version 2.png

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.


VideoBook Ahmedabad.jpg


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

lalittamang | ‎09-27-2012 08:11 PM

Love the Idea!!!!

Hope to see it soon!!!

Will be the next big thing is teaching and learning!

Vishwa | ‎10-18-2012 06:19 AM

Great people will do GREAT works ... Smiley Happy

mohammad noori | ‎11-21-2012 03:47 AM

With over 28 years of experience as a professor, scholar and administrator, and a strong advocate of industry-university partnership, I strongly believe that we need a paradigm shift in engineering/STEM education for the present system that is the product of the 1950's cannot respond to the global challenges, and the new internet generation who has completely different learning psychology from my generation.  Unfortunately, vast majority of the proposed plans by the academic community offer only a “Band-Aid” solution to this problem that requires a paradigm shift.  The present system of course based, compartmentalized, discipline focused, pre-requisite based,… is not economically feasible and besides, cannot respond to the educational needs of the new global landscape.  What HP has done, by introducing this Video Book concept  is truly remarkable and commendable and the academic world needs to embrace this approach.  We can only overcome this grand challenge through a radically different industry-university partnership. 

Walt Lessun | ‎01-16-2013 02:49 PM

Projected cost?  How much bandwidth will each individual user consume?

martina_trucco | ‎01-30-2013 05:45 PM

Thanks, Walt, for your questions.


Pricing would vary by geography. Since this is a cloud-based solution that does not require incremental hardware or software, it would be a per-user model, and our aim is to make it accessible to a large portion of the market.


The recommended bandwidth at a school  is 0.1 MB per concurrent user. So, if a school has 200 concurrent users, 20 MB would be the recommended network bandwidth. It is important to note that network traffic tends to peak at certain times of the day, so the user experience is dependent on the network quality of service.


-- Martina Trucco

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