Singapore scientists unveil multiscreen, social TV viewing experience

When you leave home, the cloud-based platform "Social Cloud TV" lets you resume watching content on your tablet or smartphone and share it with friends.

With "Social Cloud TV," you can resume a movie on your tablet when you leave the house. Shawna Siow/CNET Asia

Scientists from Singapore's Nanyang Technological University's School of Computer Engineering have unveiled "Social Cloud TV," which is essentially a multiscreen mobile TV experience.

Developed by a research team headed by assistant professor Wen Yonggang, "Social Cloud TV" lets users chat -- using video, voice, or text -- with their friends on the platform, as well as share their content on social-networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

They can access content that's stored locally, in the cloud, delivered via over-the-top (OTT) services (click here for more information on the technology) or shared using a Web browser on a smart TV or mobile device. Wen and his team developed the back-end processes -- such as a compression algorithm and media transcoding -- so that content is optimized for each device and screen size.

For example, the same video that you're watching on your tablet can be "thrown" to your TV when you get home. Similarly, when you leave the house, you can "pull" content from your TV to your tablet or smartphone. Besides content, you can transfer chat sessions with your friends, too.

Wen declined to comment on how the video session is migrated to or from a mobile device as the product's patent is currently pending. He did, however, mention that it will be extremely user-friendly.

Social Cloud TV
It took professor Wen and his team 18 months to develop the "Social Cloud TV" platform, which allows you to transfer video chat sessions between devices as well. Shawna Siow/CNET Asia

For now, the platform requires an Android app to run on mobile devices, but there are plans to develop it for other operating systems such as iOS.

We've seen similar multiscreen setups at CommunicAsia before -- first with telecommunications infrastructure provider Ericsson's unified multiscreen TV solution last year and then Singapore telco StarHub's TV Anywhere service using OTT technology this year -- but such services still have not really taken off yet. Wen's platform allows for more social engagement, which may give it an added edge over the competition.

With discussions under way with a Singapore telco and a handful of international vendors to commercialize the idea, consumers should expect to see this in homes in one to two years, at least in Asia.

(Source: Crave Asia)

 

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