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SMIL State paper wins Best Paper at ACM Document Engineering Symposium

From: John Boyer <boyerj@ca.ibm.com>
Date: Sat, 20 Sep 2008 05:19:33 -0700
To: "www-forms@w3.org" <www-forms@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OF60DFEF5D.0AA7E2E1-ON882574CA.0040D056-882574CA.0043B9AE@ca.ibm.com>
Jack Jansen and Dick Bulterman won the Best Paper award at the 2008 ACM 
Symposium on Document Engineering for their paper entitled "Enabling 
Adaptive Time-based Web Applications with SMIL State" [1]


The paper presents a very interesting mix of SMIL, XForms and other 
technologies to enable end-users to customize their  experience of content 
where time dictates the major structure.  One example given is of a video 
bike tour of Amsterdam created by the first author.  Fragments of the 
video content can be identified and tagged with keywords.  During 
run-time, an XForm is used to allow an end-user to select from the 
available keywords those which they find interesting, and the 
corresponding fragments of video are played.

This is the type of thinking that will clearly help make video content a 
first class citizen on the web.  There is significant potential for the 
use of this technology for stream-lining educative experiences as well. 
Imagine, for example, a 2-hour audiovisual presentation that provides a 
thorough introduction to a topic, say CSS.  But suppose the end-user 
really needs to know only about setting up borders on tables.  By 
selecting the content, the user can find out what they need to know in 10 
minutes.  What's more, it is easy to imagine how the technology reported 
in [1] could be refined to attenuate the video content download to the 
selected fragments.

A second example reported in [1] pertains to ad selection within video 
content.  When you download free video for your favorite entertainment, 
you're going to get ads and you won't have the ability to skip them 
because otherwise how do people manage to make a living providing you with 
this free entertainment??  So, sprinkled through the video will be ad 
slots with default advertisements lined up.  But, in addition there will 
be hotspots on the video where various product icons may appears from time 
to time, and if the user clicks the icon, then the default ad is replaced 
with an ad corresponding to the clicked icon.  Thus, you could find out 
what's new at the electronics shop in lieu of an ad for laundry soap or 
some such.

It's a great example on the technical side of the need for interactive 
video, but this is because there's huge market potential for this idea. 
Not only does the user get a more pleasant ad experience with their free 
content, but the content provider gets to find out what their audience is 
most interested in, and the advertisers get to find out what content their 
customers are most interested in.  Very Web 2.0.

I encourage you to download and read the paper.

Best regards,
John M. Boyer, Ph.D.
STSM, Interactive Documents and Web 2.0 Applications
Chair, W3C Forms Working Group
Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Software
IBM Victoria Software Lab
E-Mail: boyerj@ca.ibm.com 

Blog: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/JohnBoyer
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Received on Saturday, 20 September 2008 12:20:29 UTC

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