Ravindra Velhal has been involved with Intel’s technology policy and standards for nearly two decades and has seen technologies define new experiences for both storytellers and audiences. Here are a few projects with which he has been closely associated with that allow for new immersive multi-sensory experiences
Started as an industry consortium of 60+ Tech, Studio and Service companies [2008-2020], UltraViolet-Your Movies in the Cloud gave birth to digital movie collection to promote Buy Once Play Anywhere concept . One direct benefit of Ultraviolet™ is Convergence, giving consumer the convenience and choice of accessing media across variety of registered UltraViolet devices including PCs, laptops, Smartphone, gaming video consoles and other connected CE video devices. This brought unique distribution opportunity to monetize and gain wider acceptance for the Hollywood Movies and TVShows “Digital Download and streaming” content in many territories. More than 20,000 Hollywood (Movies+TV Shows) titles were part of UltraViolet catalogue at one point. In addition to already growing mobile penetration, services like UltraViolet permeated and propelled need for better broadband connectivity, Electronic Sell-through (EST) infrastructure, DRM harmonization and Common Media Format for enabling new ways of digital media consumption and monetization over the Internet. Ravi made significant contributions to Ultraviolet technical architecture and managed Ultraviolet from 2008-2020 as a management committee member.
“A romantic story that revolves around aroma.” LeMusk is a upcoming full length sensory Cinema Experience by two time Oscar and Grammy winner A R Rahman. Prelude to LeMusk and Scent of a Song from LeMusk launched at Cannes in 2018 and 2019 respectively on Positron motion chairs with scent emitters, giving viewers glimpse into the future of immersive Cinema like never been experienced before.
Intel Teams with Sony Pictures Virtual Reality to Create ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Virtual Reality Experience
Ravi collaborated with Sony Pictures Virtual Reality to create a virtual reality experience (VRE) that complemented Columbia Pictures’ “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” the most highly anticipated movie of the summer 2017. The VRE offers users the chance to suit up as Spider-Man for the first time, hone their webshooting skills, and sling high above New York City in pursuit of the Vulture. Reduce discomfort associated with VR using pinhole view – including players seeing a mirror version of themselves as Spider-Man – is complicated to create such cinematic realism. When people walked away from this knowing what it’s like to be Spider-Man, the mission was complete. This experience received an AIS (Advanced Imaging Society) Lumiere award and was nominated for an Emmy.
SAVE EVERY BREATH
Christopher Nolan’s epic action thriller, Dunkirk, opens to hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops surrounded by enemy forces. Trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea, they face an impossible situation as the enemy closes in. But this intense theatrical experience doesn’t end when the final credits roll. Movie goers can experience the harrowing miracle evacuation of troops by land, sea and air – all from the safety of their living room – thanks to the magic of virtual reality (VR). “The Dunkirk VR Experience will likely transform all of our expectations about what immersive entertainment means in the years to come.
RIO CARNIVAL 2018
Worldwide famous as a largest festival on the planet to celebrate spirit of humanity, Rio Carnival is a soul of Brazil. Several Samba schools participate each year to parade their magnum opus float at Rio’s Sambadrome. This is one of the first ever VR experience from Brazil, created in collaboration with GloboTV, one of the top global broadcaster. This experience allows you to experience Carnival parade better than camarotes (VIP viewing Cabins at the Carnival).
To The Moon and Back in VR
Damien Chazelle’s First Man is an unusual 1960s piece. It is apolitical. The hero, Neil Armstrong is a stoic civilian astronaut whose emotional life is the sum of Hollywood’s best pout (that of its lead actor Ryan Gosling). A daunting, yet alluring Moon landing experience by Universal Pictures, Ryot, Intel and CreateVR. The VR experience takes you right inside the Apollo 11 spacecraft, experience take off. Outside the window, you can see blanket of glittering stars and asteroids. After hovering over the hard craters, you’ll be finally landed on the moon“giant leap for mankind”. One of the finest examples of how virtual reality can be optimized for creative cinema storytelling to whole new level. “New technology has defined new expressions for storytellers, and brought new immersive multi-sensory experiences for audiences, life never before”, This was nominated for The Outstanding Original Interactive Program – Emmy’s Awards in 2019.
Grease Volumetric Cinema Experience
Based on iconic 1978 blockbuster from paramount Pictures, this is the first volumetric Hollywood Cinema experience created at Intel Studios, the world’s largest volumetric studio imagined using Intel technologies. This experience, created in collaboration with Paramount Pictures and the original Grease film director Randal Kleiser, immerses the audience in interactive song and dance to explore the possibilities of volumetric storytelling. This Volumetric Cinema experience, billed as the future of virtual cinema production, introduces you to the limitless potential of storytelling. For this three-minute iconic song, more than 5 trillion pixels were captured and processed, giving birth to “Data Powered Volumetric Cinema” and the limitless future of Immersive Cinema and virtual production-based entertainment industry.
“From pixels to voxels, the potential of volumetric capture is endless as we are moving to seeing the world through the mind-bending capabilities of new media formats that are quickly becoming a gold standard in immersive media entertainment.”
Spider-Man Far From Home Virtual Reality, first ever multiplayer over 5G at Mobile World Congress 2018
Developed by Sony Pictures, CreateVR in association with Intel and Nokia, the point of the demonstration is to illustrate 5G’s ultra-low latency, or a real-time responsiveness that current 4G networks can’t replicate and to showcase how the next-generation wireless technology will change your life. A demonstration between Intel and Nokia booth at Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona of how a VR game could work with a multiplayer component running over a 5G network. As you swing through the city at Intel booth, you are racing another person in a second Oculus Rift setup 3,800 feet away at the Nokia booth.
Based on the film, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Virtual Reality is a fastswinging, thrill ride through the eyes of everyone’s favorite neighbourhood Spider-Man. In breathtaking Virtual reality, now gamers can tackle one of the coolest power fantasies around: swinging around New York at scale as Spider-Man. In Spider-Man: Far From Home Virtual Reality you get to do just that and this taste of superhero life fuels a desire for more and then find and tackle New York’s latest attacker in this thrilling, swinging adventure.
During this experience, Tony Stark’s jet was digitally acquired using volumetric set acquisition in collaboration with Intel and Sony Innovation Studios, to allow you to step into the movie.
Created in collaboration with Museum Of Tomorrow, Rio de Janerio in 2019, Repangia is a techno-shamanic social experience in virtual reality to preserve thousand year old ancestorial practice of Amazonian tribes connecting humanity and preserving nature. Recognized as a first ever volumetric experience created in Brazil. This is a result of VR bootcamp hosted in Brazil and leveraging world class production techniques at low cost. Super happy to see how “Tech meets Tradition” to preserve lost ancestorial practices and rituals from remote regions of Amazonian tribes.
INTEL’S 8K HDR INTERNET OLYMPIC GAMES TOKYO 2020 LIVESTREAMS
Last summer, as athletes broke world records at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, another “one for the books” was quietly taking place. For 19 days, live coverage of many Olympic events was broadcast over the public Internet at 8K at 60 frames per second (Fps) with HDR (High Dynamic Range) to Brazil and Japan generating and processing more than 4.7 PetaBytes of data. U.S. viewing was limited to private, invitation-only Intel sites in Portland, Santa Clara, and Hollywood audiences in Los Angeles. It was believed to be the first live, broadcast quality transmission on an open IP network cloud, coming just months after a pioneering 8K/60FPSFps live stream (without HDR), also led by Intel, in December 2020.
Between those two landmark events, Intel and its partners conducted more than a dozen successful demonstrations of its prototype for Over The Top (OTT), standards-based delivery of live broadcast quality, 8K (7680×4320), 60Fps, HDR content on existing 4K infrastructure. Pioneering this efforts Ravi Velhal, global content technology strategist and 8K lead at Intel, is working full speed ahead to create a new category and market that will bring live, end-to-end 8K Internet streaming to billions across the globe. “We’re preparing the world for democratization of 8K using the open internet”. Iabm (International Association of Broadcast and Media) recognized this as a “Project Of The Year” for 2021 and Ravi’s contribution placed him as a “Technology Leader Of The Year” finalist.
This is what Dr S Raghunath, IIM-B Professor for Corporate Strategy and Policy said in Pickle-CII BIG PICTURE SUMMIT 2014 special edition
How to create, deliver and capture value in the evolving landscape of information and communication technologies, Dr S Raghunath, IIM-B Professor for Corporate Strategy and Policy, shows the way.
Never before in the history of media and entertainment industry has costly content been so easy to reproduce, re-purpose and distribute . Therefore the focus is on IP value management rather than just IP protection and the creation of digital security format which enables interoperability between devices.
From an era of one way delivery of public content like feature films in movie theatres and soap operas on television and two way delivery of private content like telephone based conversations it has expanded to include multiple ways of delivering content that provides connectivity to private conversation in public domain about public content.
Therefore the central question of monetization is how to create, deliver and capture value in the evolving landscape of information and communication technologies.
There are several challenges to be addressed: moving from medium specific content to content that is available in formats compatible with multiple platforms. There is increased interdependence of communication systems as opposed to stand alone broadcasting of content triggered by the use of multiple devices for accessing content . Then there is a difficult relationship of top down corporate culture and evolving bottom up participatory media and entertainment culture.
Access to audience through the internet has also changed the supply scenario for entertainment content. Amateurs are joining the galaxy of established professionals as producers of content. Crowd sourcing has given rise to more experimentation and aggregation of capabilities. Media is no longer a mere object of consumption, it is a medium of utilization. Earlier media and entertainment content was a product produced by professionals for the consumption of amateurs. It is now the connection between experimenting amateurs and established professionals with a wider global audience. For example, an average of one hundred videos are being uploaded on YouTube every minute, Twitter receives more than one hundred and seventy five million tweets a day.
With availability of free content, advertising has to become more creative about what products consumer want with free content . Advertising is different in the digital media as it is about one on one interactive communication with audience.
The good news is that a personalization software app , a machine learning system can set up a detailed profile of every person’s interests and then match the digital inventory of content to find exactly what the person wants. It then can provide TV programmes or a set of movies which exactly fit whatever a person finds interesting. Therefore the phenomenon of digitalization has turned entertainment content into information goods.
Data analytics facilitates transformation of entertainment content for mass market to thousands of niches made economically feasible by digital delivery . The evolving technology of delivery allows focused distribution to individual consumers.
The individual consumers using a device or a collection of devices now connect and interact with social network through these devices. The preferences of the individual can be identified and shared across devices giving rise to a never before opportunity of personalizing not only entertainment but advertising that pays for the entertainment. The same individual’s presence on multiple devices along with the ability to pay for the experience provides new opportunities for developers to create applications that link to entertainment as well as the social network.
However, increasingly affluent segments of audience population are preferring to watch premium programming content that eliminates advertising. Therefore the insertion of the commercial products within the scenes of the content and the story line will find favour with corporate sponsors resulting in such product placements in feature films and television content.
The laptops, smart phones and tablets have not displaced traditional distribution systems such as televisions from living rooms. The difference is that today people continue to watch television but they do so also through their tablet or smartphone.
In our country,internet penetration is estimated to cover fifteen per cent of the population. A Nielsen survey indicates that the highest penetration for mobile Internet is in the age group of 15-24. This has its implications for advertising and e commerce and there is an emerging preference for quality content.
However, low quality content will continue to mushroom with improving technology and increasing access to the internet . This is likely to bring a decline in the average content quality. However, the range available would result in clear demarcation of better content and best among the rest . Uncontrolled access to variety of content will lead to self selection of the best which will benefit society at large though it has access to a wide variety of junk.Thus the only mass curator for content will be the instant people response.
The collective shaping of what we believe and watch is going to be done more and more by amateurs creating a visual image. Digital content is turning into a massive cloud of evolving ideas, always in dialogue, influencing opinion with every voice contributing to it.
In this scenario, Big data analytics will provide enough indications about soap operas and characters stirring interest and emotions in specific regions or locations. Virtual delivery of content also will increase the appetite for live stage performances. Live performances in those locations will generate higher revenue. The smartness of senior managers in media and entertainment companies is in orchestrating mass marketing campaigns once specific artists are ready for a significant marketing push.
It is not just the urban localities which have the potential to pay for live performances but there are also street theatre companies mushrooming and growing in rural areas. Performers are speaking, singing or dancing in a language that the audience can appreciate, relate to and make an emotional connect. As the range of sophistication levels of audience widens over time , so do expectations relating to enjoyable entertainment.
If yield management geeks have their way, companies could charge a little more certainly for Saturday night or weekend live staged performances.
Live show producers can begin relying on computer algorithms to recommend the highest ticket prices that audiences are likely to pay for each of the available seats at every performance in the theatre for performing arts.
Live performance shows can employ dynamic pricing system to raise seat prices during heavy holiday weeks . So entertainment companies must reach the level of sophistication achieved by airline and hotels continuously using their algorithm to calibrate prices based on demand and ticket purchasing patterns.
The CII-BCG Knowledge Report on future of the Indian Media & Entertainment industry, which was released at the recently concluded 2019 edition of CII Big Picture Summit, outlines some of the critical areas based on an extensive research, which can spark action as the industry looks to outpace its past success in the challenging times ahead
As Indian Media and Entertainment Industry has set the bar high on generating compelling content, creating new experiences for both their viewers and advertisers, it has led to the growth of trillion touchpoints along with the advertising dollars. But to ensure a steady rise in the Industry’s growth trajectory in future, the stakeholders will have to keep on raising the bar to meet the ever growing expectations and brace for challenges ahead, says a report prepared by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Confederation of Indian Industry.
Released at the recently held Big Picture Summit from November 14 to 15, the report titled ‘The Trillion (and Growing) Touchpoint Story-Recognizing the Monetization Conundrum says: “The coming year is truly pivotal for the industry as they seek to raise the bar once again in possibly challenging times ahead.”
The authors of the report applaud the achievements of the industry. “We are proud & delighted to say that the industry has come out with flying colors on the consumption front to maintain the growth momentum with our trillion touchpoints increasing steadily. The increasing monetization levels and growth of advertisement dollars are also strong testaments to the high levels of engagement between the industry and its stakeholders, the value being created,” they say.
However, they also caution that “we do need to be cognizant of the possible uncertainty up ahead in the coming days”. They go on to outline some of the critical areas “which can enhance the value disproportionately”. The report hopes that the insights provided by it would help “structure the imperatives and sparks action as we move towards a new tomorrow which is better than today
The report has been divided into four sections, giving useful insights into: consumption patterns, consumer engagement drivers and trends, advertising trends and key recommendations to take the industry forward.
According to the report, the consumption pattern present a positive picture as video continues to gain share within the digital pie; a favourable macro environment providing tailwinds that has been leveraged by the industry to fuel growth; steady growth of the trillion touchpoints especially with share of digital increasing; and a highly engaged set of consumers being witnessed.
“While traditional media is growing at a steady pace, digital media is driving overall growth with at a 16% CAGR over the past 2 years,” it says. Digital video consumption has increased from 11mins/day to 24mins/ day over the past 2 years. Over 2018, this has been driven by: 10-15% increase in numbers of sessions; 15-25% increase in average time per session, according to the report
AVERAGE DIGITAL VIDEO CONSUMPTION IN THE COUNTRY HAS INCREASED OVER TWO FOLD IN THE PAST TWO YEARS TO 24 MINUTES PER DAY FROM 11 MINUTES PER DAY. AN INCREASE OF 10-15 PER CENT IN THE NUMBER OF SESSIONS (HOURS PER DAY). CONSUMPTION GROW
Steps taken by industry, such as offering affordable plans, forging partnership to provide free content, large breadth of “relevant” content, and creating interesting ads on different platforms have also played a crucial role in increasing content consumption.
“The high levels of engagement are starting to address the issue of monetization which traditionally has been the proverbial elephant in the room. Consumers are increasingly looking to move beyond trials but the funnel flow is still small compared to the large scale investments being made by players to both acquire and retain consumers,” says the report.
However, the report goes on to add that the consumer research suggests that “the path being taken is the right one as users proclaim high stickiness and tendency to pay with the spend on media expected to follow the “lipstick effect” even in challenged environments”.
“Video viewing seems to be largely economy agnostic, and consumers are expected to increase spending in the near future,” the report notes.
When it comes to advertisers, the report says that they “understand and appreciate the manifold advantages – better targeting, lesser wastage, ability to drive brand building through interactive experiences, among others”.
But the report also points out that questions on effectiveness and efficacy still remain in the absence of transparent and verifiable data, as concerns are getting louder. “The advertisers do want to the industry to quickly fix some of the inherent issues like transparent measurement of ROMI (return on marketing investment).” Psychometric approach of targeting needs a deeper understanding of consumer behavior, which is facilitated through digital, it says. “Possible challenging environment ahead may impact status quo and lead to tough decisions,” the authors of the report caution.
The report calls for “deep introspection and high levels of innovation”, as the coming year will be a pivotal one for the industry which looks to balance the imperative of growth and helping translate the trillion (and growing) touchpoints into a more sustainable & value accretive proposition for all the stakeholders.
The M&E growth till now has been made possible by the embracement of disruptions like digital and increased internet usage and turning it to an advantage. “There has been a common agenda and cohesion of imperatives across all the stakeholders– broadcasters, publishers, media agencies, advertisers, regulators, government agencies, among others, to make this possible,” the report notes, adding that if the past is anything to go by then the industry will not only rise to the expectations but turn the adversity into an advantage.
INDIA HAS THE SECOND LARGEST BASE OF SMARTPHONES IN THE WORLD, SETTING UP A MASSIVE PLATFORM FOR DIGITAL VIDEO CONSUMPTION. MOREOVER, INDIA HAS WITNESSED A DRAMATIC REDUCTION IN DATA COST OVER THE PAST 2-3 YEARS. THIS IS LEADING TO HIGHER DATA USAGE — INDIA HAS THE HIGHEST PER-CAPITA CONSUMPTION OF DATA AT 9.8 GIGABYTES PER MONTH
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), after tasting huge success with Jio mobile services, is gearing up to roll out full-fledged JioGigaFiber. Here are 10 interesting things you should know about this yet another gamechanger from the Mukesh Ambani-led firm.
1) JioGigaFiber will include home broadband, entertainment and smart home IoT (Internet of things) solutions.
2) It is expected to be rolled out on 12 August at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM).
3) According to Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani, JioGigaFiber would provide ultra high-definition entertainment on large screen TVs, multi-party video conferencing from a living room, voice-activated virtual assistance, virtual reality gaming, digital shopping and immersive experiences.
4) JioGigaFiber is currently under beta testing phase. It was launched at the 41st AGM last year, the broadband service was launched and RIL was offering some exciting features for both home and businesses with JioGigaFiber.
5) Subscribers can avail its Preview Offer for a security deposit of Rs 4,500 or Rs 2,500, depending on the speeds one opts for.
6) JioGigaFiber offers fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband connections with 1.1TB (terabytes) of free data at a speed of 100 mbps.
7) A Business Today report states full-fledged rollout would mean the release of definitive plans with tariff rates and tenures for the JioGigaFiber service.
8) Ambani had said at the AGM last year: “The company has already invested more than $250 million in the industry. We will now extend the service to 1,100 cities to offer the most advanced fibre-based broadband services.”
9) “This will mean a faster internet experience. A virtual reality experience for all citizens where you can control switches in your house from outside as well. This will redefine 24×7 emergency help for all homes across India,” according to Ambani.
10) Recently, Reliance Jio had reported 45.6 percent rise in its net profit to Rs 891 crore for June quarter of 2019-20. The company had recorded profit after tax of Rs 612 crore in the same period the previous year.