The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

Media and Entertainment Companies Gravitating to the Cloud

manage-now.jpgThe Media and Entertainment sector is changing quickly in terms of content creation, production, and management.


Digital assets are created in one location, shots are reviewed in another location and sequences are edited in yet another location. Making the situation more complicated is the fact that today's biggest productions leverage content from dozens if not hundreds of providers for preproduction, production, post-productions, and visual and sound effects.


This diversification of the production process has created new and difficult management challenges for the content producers. Media and Entertainment companies today need to provide instant access to the same information and assets regardless of geography and time zone while keeping up with exacting security and stringent version controls.


Cloud solutions address these problems.  But what is the Cloud?


In order to understand the Cloud, we at HP like to separate the Cloud into three basic types:


Public cloud—The cloud infrastructure is made available to the general public or a large industry group and is owned by an organization providing cloud services.


Hybrid cloud—A hybrid cloud is a cloud computing environment in which an organization provides and manages some resources in-house and has others provided externally.


Private cloud—The cloud infrastructure is operated solely for an organization. It may be managed by the organization or a third party and may exist on premises or off premises.


Media and Entertainment companies tend to select the Hybrid cloud because it supports their unique workflows while leveraging best in class storage and infrastructure management, cluster and grid management, and service-oriented architecture in a multitenant (or multi production) cloud computing environment.

HP Enterprise Cloud Services is positioned to be the leader in this new paradigm. By leveraging its pre-existing utility infrastructure as a base, HP has created an industry specific solution that addresses the issues above.


My colleague Steve Poehlein, Director of Media and Entertainment Solutions for HP Enterprise Services has recently published a viewpoint paper, “Moving media and Entertainment to the Cloud” if you would like more information.


In my next blog post, I will discuss how DreamWorks leveraged HP cloud-like services to produce its blockbuster Shrek 2.

GPS and golf - things have changed

32i59A907699D30E34CThis weekend I played golf for the first time in 13 years. It was clear that many of the edge computing concepts we’ve discussed on this blog have been embraced by the golfing industry.


The golf cart I was using had a built in flat, touch screen display showing information about the course (such the location of other carts, distance to the hole, location of the pin on the green). Naturally there were a few advertisements displayed along the way. The implementation used the GPS for position sensing and also helped keep score. If I’d only had a GPS and transmitter in my golf ball, I could have really concentrated on the game.


It did make me wonder if there were capabilities for course announcements to alert the golfers to lightning in the area and alerts. The club house could keep track of who was doing what on the course and if they were playing fast enough.

2010 Dallas FIRST competition finally arrives

The 2010 FIRST Robotics Competition in Dallas is finally here. This year I am coordinating judging again and it looks like it will be quite an event. We have significantly more teams signed up for the chairman's award than ever before.

This year we'll have live streaming of the event and you can even see all the activities of last year at the same site. The feed will start on Friday (19th) morning and run through the awards ceremony on Saturday night the 20th. For those in the Dallas area, the competition will be held at Moody Auditorium at SMU.

The VIP lunch event will be held on Friday and have the governor of Texas as well as a number of other dignitaries. This is especially timely since the governor recently kicked off a Texas wide robotics initiative. This program has a proven track record of increasing awareness and involvement in STEM so that is one of the reasons for the governor's support. Hansen Robotics will be showing their efforts at a more human-like robot at the event as well. I'll be interested to see how close it is to the uncanny valley, although I am probably more tolerant than most.

Augmented Reality Greeting Cards

I saw Hallmark's announcement of augmented reality cards and thought it was a very interesting consumerization of augmented reality techniques.

Being able to see this enhanced interface at a desk is great. Being able to do it with your phone or camera would be even better. It's definitely an example of what you can do to take something everyone is familiar with and changing the edge interface to make it even better.

"The person receiving the card can visit and follow the directions to be able to view a 3D animated feature by holding the greeting card up to the web camera. The technology breathes a digital life into the card. The animation tracks with the movement of the card, so no matter which way the card is moved, the animation will rotate along in full 3D. In many cards, various scenes appear as the card is turned in different angles in front of the webcam for a range of digital experiences"

Ten cards are currently available for Valentine's Day and, as the year progresses, the company will roll out additional webcam greetings. Most webcam greetings retail for $2.99. Some webcam greetings include a sound clip that plays when the recipient opens the card (clip is audible without going online). These cards retail for $5.99. All webcam greetings are available wherever Hallmark cards are sold.

I wonder what business could do with manuals and other printed materials to add a whole new dimension.

Maybe journalism and computing

One of the side effects of having massive amounts of computing is it can be applied in new ways, like a new form of journalism - maybe journalism. Instead of a story being based on facts and live video, it is based on a simulation of what could have happened.

Since people are increasingly getting their news from PCs and mobile devices, this new form of news is based on a market preference for more graphically oriented, animated and "reality show" news delivered via YouTube and other sources that these devices support.

Apple Daily which has dozens of graphic artists creating these animated news clips claims:

. "The difference is instead of using words we use images."

Businesses can use these same techniques to create training and show employees how things should work or environments that they will travel to before they arrive. I've mentioned before how environments like Second Life can be used in business for similar purposes.

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About the Author(s)
  • Steve Simske is an HP Fellow and Director in the Printing and Content Delivery Lab in Hewlett-Packard Labs, and is the Director and Chief Technologist for the HP Labs Security Printing and Imaging program.
The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation.