Live Mobile Video Interaction : Inventing and investigating technology, formats and applications

Abstract: The convergence of inexpensive video-enabled mobile phones, high-speed mobile data networks and ubiquitous sensing devices opens up a new design space called “live mobile video interaction”. It gives rise to a new genre of applications concerning live mobile video production, which can be seen as an instance of the said space. In this work we are particularly interested to explore potential technical challenges and opportunities presented by “live mobile video interaction”. We started our investigation by studying two existing prototypes from the said genre i.e. the Instant Broadcasting System (IBS) and the Mobile Vision Mixer (MVM). We studied their applicability for amateur users of collaborative mobile video production tools and the problems caused by inherent communication delays in the Internet. We acquired initial user feedback and conducted technical tests on Instant Broadcasting System (IBS) and Mobile Vision Mixer (MVM). Our results indicate that lack of synchronisation among video streams causes problems for directors in such systems that were not present in professional systems. We also identified two distinct video production modes depending on visual access of the director to the event that is being filmed. Based on our study we proposed technical design suggestions and indications on how to solve the synchronisation problems in respective mixing modes. We also proposed an algorithm for frame-rate exclusive synchronisation management of live streams in a collaborative mobile production environment. We further probed the design space using the research through design method, which resulted in a fully functional prototype system called “Livenature” that would incite an emotional connection that exists between people and the places they cherish. Further investigation of Livenature allowed us to produce detailed studies about experiential and technical aspects of the system, thus revealing phenomenological and technical dimensions of the design space.